It was the 3rd week of school, the weekend before Homecoming 2018, and 9 senior girls were crowded around a white table decked out with shirts and water buckets.
As some would say, this was the calm before the storm.
Within 10 minutes time, the pristine table was soon a blurred concoction of pink, orange, and yellow dye. Rubber bands were scattered and water was soaring through the air.
This was the prep for Pep Rally.
Each year, the Wantagh Varsity Girls’ Swim and Dive Team join other teams in running onto the turf after being announced at Pep Rally. Everyone usually wears their black and gold uniform.
But, the swim team is unique.
The girls swap their suits for the day and charge the turf in their own uniforms of bright hues. Grabbing the attention of their peers, the team embraces the energy of the students on the bleachers and the athletes beside them.
“Tie-dying shirts unifies the team and enables the seniors to create something that the whole team can appreciate,” says senior Justina Scibelli.
Eagerly awaiting their final Pep Rally and Homecoming, the seniors followed the team’s annual tradition of designing tie dye shirts. The dye colors are selected by the upperclassmen each season. The Class of 2019 seniors opted for radiant pinks, yellows, and oranges following seasons of blues and purples. Sadly, despite all of their hard work, due to too much rain, the Pep Rally was canceled.
The shirts were revealed to the rest of the team after a meet the week prior to Homecoming. Spirals of pastel neon colors painted the bus as the shirts were unraveled and the astounded faces of middle and high school girls lit up the evening.
This simple activity of tie dying T-shirts is a celebration of the senior’s last season. It has encouraged athletes each year to leave their final mark on the team they dedicated their high school years to.
“What was once something that my peers and I viewed as a far away activity exclusively for the upperclassmen soon became my responsibility when I was a senior,” says former Captain Grace Tague. “It allowed me to express how grateful I was to be surrounded by so many accomplished girls that had become my family over the years.”