Thursday, November 3rd, began Our Lady Help of Christians Academy’s journey to Saint Marys, KS, for the third annual Jubilee Cup.
The 9th-12th grade boys and their chaperones left after lunch to arrive at their destination late that night. There they were greeted by Fr. James Torzala, the principal of St. Mary’s boys’ school and organizer of the Jubilee Cup. Fr. Torzala warned his guests of oncoming rain possibly disrupting the schedule, then lead them to their lodgings in the Suarez dorms.
Early the next morning the boys warmed up in the gym and Fr. Torzala gave them a tour of the campus workout room. After the boys from St. Vincent Academy in Kansas City arrived, the official events of the day began. First was a solemn high Mass celebrated by Fr. Dylan Flanery, with students of St. Mary’s and OLHCA singing under the direction of Br. Casmir.
Due to the predicted wet weather, the cross-country race was cancelled. “Thank goodness,” said senior Quentin De La Torre joked in response, “I forgot to pack my swim trunks!” Although this was a bit of an exaggeration, the rain was forming streams and flooding the race path. The schedule proceeded indoors, with many of the boys playing wiffle ball and ping pong in their socks. While OLHCA unfortunately finished both events with losses, the boys enjoyed the competition. With the extra time in the schedule from the cancelled cross-country race, the boys were able to play some friendly games of volleyball before lunch.
For lunch the students of the three schools were mixed together at each table (with the larger population of St. Mary’s accounting for four of every six seats). After lunch the boys enjoyed a friendly, non-Jubilee Cup, game of trivia hosted by Mr. Hatty. Following trivia, the JV basketball match between SMA and St. Vincent’s took place in the gym, while the chess tournament occupied the auditorium. As the chess tournament required such a quiet environment, many spectators opted to watch the basketball game. In this game the boys of OLHCA rooted for St. Vincent’s who were, after an intense game, unfortunately defeated.
During the halftime of the JV game, another event was held: speech! Each school sent forth their speaker to compete, with senior Timothy Pfeiffer representing OLHCA. A week before the Jubilee Cup, the schools were given a topic to present as a speech, "The Jubilee Cup and its History." The speeches were judged by unbiased members of the audience, awarding OLHCA second place and St. Vincent’s claiming first.
Immediately following these events, the winner of the Jubilee Cup was announced. St. Mary’s defended their title for another year, with wins in JV basketball, wiffle ball, and clean sweeps in ping pong and chess. The Cup being completed, the students of St. Vincent’s bid their farewells. The events of the day, however, were not concluded- the basketball game between the OLHCA Knights and the St. Mary’s Crusaders was yet to be played!
At 5:00 p.m. the referees called over the captains to encourage a good spirit in what promised to be a fiercely competitive game. Our team gathered for one last huddle and, on the count of three, broke with a thunderous cry of “KNIGHTS!” and the game began. Unfortunately, though they gave it their all, the Knights faced their third consecutive defeat to the St. Mary’s Crusaders.
Dinner followed the game and, because the rain had finally let up, Fr. Torzala led the boys for a tour of the New Immaculata, the massive and beautiful church being built in Saint Marys. After this breathtaking experience, the group walked back to campus amid scattered flurries of snow and, taking advantage of the empty auditorium, the OLHCA students set up a volleyball net and ping pong tables to play some casual games amongst themselves.
The next day, after Mass, the clouds broke and the rain ceased, allowing the group from Colorado their first view of the Kansas sky. The crew traveled home and, arriving at the church that night, concluded the trip and went their separate ways. Though we were unable to secure a win this year, the trip was fruitful. As senior Timothy Pfeiffer said in the speech competition for the Cup, “This event, this Jubilee Cup, brings us together, and gives us hope by reminding us that we are, in fact, not alone. Living in the world today, in which the power of the devil is formidable and growing stronger, manliness, brotherhood, and virtue are in demand! Coming to this event and seeing other Catholic young men doing the same things we are, fighting many of the same battles every day, inspires perseverance.”