Yes those early-season football and field hockey victories against Avon sure helped but the broad effort to boost school spirit began over the summer with school officials, including discussions among principal Drew DiPippo, athletic director Dee Stephan and Student Council advisor Jennifer C. Gembala.
The educators wanted to draw upon the existing Spirit Week tradition, add some new events and draw further ties with alumni weekend events, including night games.
"We're really trying to connect what was going on in the school with the broader community," DiPippo said.
The Canton Athletic Booster Club has also been working on the effort and are excited about the games and some new developments, such as a club and athletic based pep rally slated for Friday, Sept. 27.
"We just want to try and improve school spirit and enthusiasm," said booster club president Ann Bonini.
Of course there's also the new track and field and while that is still a work in progress, the group is thrilled to see it come together.
"To watch the progress of the field gives me goose bumps," said Kristina DiMartino, who does public relations and marketing for the booster club. "I can really feel the energy when I walk through the high school."
The school district recently received Zoning Commission Approval for temporary lights and will be hosting a Warriors Warriors Field Hockey vs. Westbrook under the lights on Oct 4. In addition, boys and girls soccer will also play under the temporary lights on Oct. 5. (See times at the end of the article).
Student Council president Coty Consic said the night games also give more students the chance to attend. Often students have conflicts, such as work or their own activities, for regular afternoon games, he said.
Another great aspect of the upcoming spirit week are the leadership opportunities for seniors, DiPippo said.
Consic, a senior, said there are some changes to the week as well. One is in the themes. This year the themes will carry over to the entire school.
For example, students and staff are encouraged to wear school colors on Friday, Sept. 27, Wizard and Fairy costumes on Wednesday, Oct. 2 and Throwback dress the next day.
Other activities include a homecoming dance on Friday, Sept. 27, a 7 p.m. talent show on Wednesday, Oct. 2 and the numerous sports contests during the week (see attached schedule).
With all the the factors coming together, Consic said there is a lot of excitement in the hallways this year.
"The students really view it as an opportunity to build more unity throughout the school," he said.
The week also ties in with alumni weekend on Oct. 4 and 5. In addition to the high school and some middle school games, activities include the Wall Of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner Friday, Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. and alumni Field Hockey and Boys and Girls Soccer games at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 5.
"With everyone pulling in the same direction it will be more fun," DiPippo said.
Canton Athletic Booster Club Schedule
Friday, September 27th
Pep Rally (Last Period) and Dance
*Saturday, September 28th
Warriors Football vs. Housatonic 1:30 p.m.
Monday, September 30th
Warriors Volleyball vs. Avon 5:30 p.m. / JV @ 4:00 p.m.
Warriors Field Hockey at Stafford 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 1st
Warriors JV / Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Avon 3:45 p.m.
Warriors JV / Varsity Girls Soccer at Avon 3:45 p.m.
Warriors Volleyball at Housatonic 4:00 p.m. / JV @ 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 2
Warriors Boys and Girls XC Stratton Forest vs. Avon 3:45 p.m.
Warriors Volleyball at SMSA 4:00 p.m. / JV @ 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 4
Warriors Field Hockey vs. Westbrook UNDER THE
LIGHTS 6:00 p.m.
Warriors Volleyball vs. Suffield 4:00 p.m. / JV @ 5:30 p.m.
Warriors JV Boys & Girls Soccer at Ellington 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5 ALUMNI WEEKEND
Warriors Football vs. Hyde 3:00 p.m.
Warriors Varsity Boys & Girls Soccer vs. Ellington;
UNDER THE LIGHTS Girls 6:00 p.m./Boys 8:00 p.m.
MIDDLE SCHOOL HOME GAMES
Friday, Oct. 4 Warriors Field Hockey vs. Suffield, Warriors XC vs. Suffield 3:45 p.m
*Please note the Saturday, September 28th game vs. Housatonic is now at 1:30 p.m.