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The LEAP Student Blog

Jordan Oakes | Holy Names Academy: "The Garrigan Games"

Author: Jordan Oakes
Grade: Junior
School: Holy Names Academy
Mascot: Cougars
League: Metro - Mountain
Classification: 3A

Upon arriving at Holy Names Academy, a visitor will usually find the halls of the all- girls Catholic school to be filled with laughter and chatter and flooded with energy. However, every year on November 9th, one will find the majority of the school in a state it hardly ever encounters: silent.

Food will still be waiting in the newly renovated cafeteria and busy staff members will still be humming away on their computers, but the 700 girls and dozens of teachers that normally inhabit the halls from 8-2:30 every weekday will be gone. This is because they will be participating in one of the longest running traditions at HNA.

It is called Garrigan Games and it is fantastic. Every year on the anniversary of the school’s founding by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (Nov. 9th, 1880), HNA holds a giant volleyball tournament where each class (and the teachers) compete for the title of Champion and most importantly, bragging rights until the next years games. It is something like the Holy Names Olympics. Students and teachers alike look forward to the event all year. It usually lasts a few hours, but then is topped off with hundreds of cupcakes waiting for students in the Student Athletic Center afterwards.

November 9th, 2015. Students arrive at HNA at the regular time of 8:00, but they know that this is no regular school day. There is an unparalleled energy in the school, and excitement coursing through the air. Students sport their respective class colors of green, red, yellow and blue. Classrooms buzz with talk about who will win the Garrigan Games crown. The freshmen smile ear to ear, not really knowing what to expect, but knowing that they will get cupcakes as soon as this “Garrigan Games” business is over. Sophomores get ready to defend their title, probably still in shock that they won it as freshmen the year before. Coming off of a bad losing streak, the juniors are fired up and ready to compete. The senior class seems ready, but a touch nostalgic, knowing that this is their last Games at HNA.

Little does anyone know that they are about to witness the greatest Garrigan Games ever played. Not only did the school see an awesome display of sportsmanship intensity and teamwork, but they also saw the title go to the greatest class to every walk the school (the class of 2017, of course). Covered in yellow and oozing with swagger, the juniors put on a truly one of a kind performance to become champions.

While our victory may only last until this coming November, we now share a memory that we will hold for the rest of our time at Holy Names and probably the rest of our lives. Our names are now on a list dating back to the 19th century when Holy Names girls played in plaid skirts and stockings. Not only does this 135 year tradition showcase the athleticism and competitiveness of the Holy Names girls, but it emphasizes the value of sisterhood and the inextinguishable spirit of the Holy Names community.

March 2016

3/9/2016 Jordan Oakes | Holy Names Academy: "The Garrigan Games"

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