Celebrating athletics and awareness at the first winter homecoming


Morgan Smith '20

The varsity basketball underclassmen honor captains Morgan Smith ’20 and Leah Atkins ’20 during their senior day game.

Students, families, and faculty gathered in the Athletic Center February 1 for Sacred Heart Greenwich’s first Homecoming event, Winter Tiger Day.  The Student Council, under the leadership of senior Gerty Hisler, Upper School Head of Social, planned the day.  The festivities began at 11:30 a.m. with a BoxCar Cantina food truck, a bake sale, and a fundraiser for the One Love Foundation.  Throughout the afternoon, Upper School athletic teams, junior varsity (JV) basketball, varsity B squash, and varsity basketball competed against local schools.  The varsity basketball game featured a halftime performance by the Upper School Dance Team. 

Sacred Heart’s junior varsity (JV) basketball team competes against Greenwich Country Day School during homecoming February 1.  Courtesy of Ms. Elizabeth Dennison

The athletic competitions began at 12:30 p.m. with the JV basketball game against Greenwich Country Day School.  Before the game began, the team decorated the gym for their annual senior day celebration, recognizing senior Elizabeth Colligan and her dedication to the team throughout her four years of high school.  Sacred Heart lost the game with a final score of 23 to 32. 

The varsity B squash team competed against Miss Porter’s School, a private college preparatory school for girls in Farmington, Connecticut.  The matches began at 2:00 p.m. Sacred Heart won with a score of 7 to 0. 

At 2:30 p.m., the varsity basketball team played The Taft School, winning with a score of 53 to 33.  Captains seniors Leah Atkins and Morgan Smith hosted a t-shirt giveaway before the game began, and, at halftime, fans were able to participate in a half-court free-throw competition to win gift cards.  Through this senior day game, the team also recognized Leah and Morgan, both of whom have been on the team for four years, for their dedication and leadership. 

During halftime of the varsity basketball game, the Upper School Dance Team performed a routine.  The number combined the three songs “1, 2 Step” by Ciara, “Shoe Game” by Lil Mama, and “Before I Let Go” by Beyoncé.  Senior Cassidy Willie-Lawes and junior Destini-Joy (DJ) Green founded the dance team this year and, as co-captains, choreographed and coordinated the performance themselves. 

“I loved being a part of homecoming because it gave us a really special way to showcase our first performance,” Cassidy said.  “I think this experience was really beneficial to the team because it gave us something to look forward to and made us feel accomplished.”

The Upper School Dance Team, (top left) Jenna Washington ’20, Nicole Tapia ’20, Stephanie Guza ’20, Destini-Joy (DJ) Green ’21, Zada Brown ’20, Michala Rogers ’21, (middle left) Madison Mezzatesta ’21, Cassidy Willie-Lawes ’20, (bottom left) Melanie Gonzalez ’21, and Yvetslana performed their routine during halftime.  Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide

The Upper School One Love Club was also present at Homecoming, selling t-shirts, stickers, and other merchandise in the Mr. and Mrs. John P. Heffernan (June Dolce ’59) Lobby.  Morgan and senior Amelia Sheehan, club heads of the Upper School One Love Club, plan to donate all of the money the club raised at Homecoming to the One Love Foundation, their club’s namesake.  

The One Love Foundation works to inform young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, providing online educational resources and support, according to joinonelove.org.  The Sacred Heart One Love Club works to spread One Love’s mission within the school community.

“The One Love Club decided to host a fundraiser at homecoming because we thought it was a great opportunity to promote One Love’s message,” Morgan said.  “February has a theme of Love so Amelia and I thought it would be a great way to highlight our club’s theme of ‘Loving Better.'”

Gerty has always wanted to have a Homecoming event at Sacred Heart and, as Head of Social, was finally able to initiate one.  The Student Council has been preparing for the event since September, and they felt that Homecoming demonstrated Sacred Heart’s school spirit.

“When I ran for Head of Social, Homecoming was something that I wanted to bring to the school, and student council and I agreed that it would be a great addition to our community,” Gerty said.  “We had a great turnout at the event and it was really amazing to see the entire school come out to support our athletes.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Morgan Smith ’20