Nutley High School's First Ever Raiderfest
June 3, 2022 marked Nutley High School’s (NHS) first ever Raiderfest: a series of different events taking place on the Oval, where all the grades competed against one another. Because of the lack of school activities in the last few years due to the Coronavirus, the NHS Student Council is working hard to bring back many events that were once enjoyed by all, and to even start new traditions in the future.
Mrs. Petrillo stated in an interview that, “Raiderfest was created by the student leaders. They wanted to increase school spirit by hosting an inclusive and exciting school-wide event to celebrate our school community.”
Additionally, although the student council were the ones who thought of this idea, there were many people working behind the scenes to help bring their vision to life. “This event was hosted by the Student Council and Class Officers. We would also like to thank the administrators, along with the staff of the CTE and Physical Education departments who helped to organize Raiderfest,” Mrs. Petrillo explained.
After a great deal of brainstorming events and figuring out how everything was going to be run, the Student Council decided to include soccer, tug-a-war, finish the lyric challenge, football, volleyball, academic trivia, and a relay race. Mrs. Petrillo said, “The student officers created a list of events approved by the administration. The officers wanted to host events that allowed people to share their creative, athletic, and academic talents.”
Once all the grades were seated in the stands with their teams, and the rest of the student body came out to watch, the games began. Tug-a-war was a great kick-start to Raiderfest as it got the crowd going once the rope snapped not even a second into the competition between the seniors and sophomores. Following this was the freshman versus juniors, where the juniors took the win, only to lose to the seniors in the championship round.
Next up was football and the relay race, where the seniors dominated, taking the lead in both events. In football the seniors took the lead over the sophomores and the juniors took the lead over the freshman. Following this was the final game with the seniors competing against the juniors, ending in the seniors taking first, the juniors taking second, the sophomores taking third and the freshman taking fourth place.
Furthermore, the relay race was a very exciting turn of events, leaving everyone on the edge of their seats while watching. With the seniors in the lead to start off, the other three grades were neck and neck, until the freshman took the lead when the third runner stepped up. Following this, the baton was dropped by the freshman and the seniors took off, ending the race with the seniors in the lead, the juniors taking second, the freshman in third, and the sophomores in dead last.
After this it got very heated on the Oval as volleyball and soccer were taking place, contributing to two more very entertaining events. Class officers, participants and fans were on the edge of their seats as they were watching the matches. After a chaotic four games, it ended in the seniors taking first place, the juniors in second, the freshman in third and the sophomores in fourth.
Soccer started off with the seniors capturing a 1-0 win over the sophomores, followed by a 2-0 win the freshman took over the junior class. The championship game consisting of the freshman and seniors was very exciting and got the crowd roaring. It was a very fast pace, aggressive game with friendly competition, ending in a 2-0 win for the seniors over the freshman.
After this the students participated in academic trivia where they would each take turns answering whatever questions the class officers threw at them. Following these two events was the finish of the lyric challenge. In the finish of the lyric challenge all the grades were facing each other in the middle of the Oval, and one by one the Student Council Officers played a song for them to finish the lyrics to. The final rankings of each grade were the seniors in first, the juniors in second, the sophomores in third and the freshman in last.
Additionally, Mrs. Petrillo was very excited to help out with Raiderfest, reviewing attendance and then getting the luxury of watching the events after her job was complete. When asked what her favorite event was she explained how she didn’t necessarily have a favorite but she knew which event she would never take part in. For instance, “Although I enjoy watching the events, I would not participate in the tug-a-war event if I were a student!”
Moreover, the Student Council did a commendable job both setting up and running this event, leaving the teachers with not much to worry about. Because of this, they got to enjoy the beautiful day and take in the amazing view of the school community and spirit that the student body provided them with.
Because of the success they faced in gaining the ability to host Raiderfest, the Student Council is eager to both start and bring back other events. “The Student Council is constantly reviewing our traditions along with the events hosted at other local schools to determine how to celebrate our school community,” said Mrs. Petrillo. All in all, this ended up being a very fun event, with memories that will last a lifetime and something to look forward to for next year.