The Zen of JV Football

Scene: Outside a New York coffee shop at 69th and Lex.

A voice from behind inquires, “Mr. Gauld?”

I turn to look into the friendly eyes of a guy in his mid-20s. Although I assume him to be a former student, I can’t even place the school (i.e., Bath or Woodstock) much less the name. That happens a fair amount.

Holding out his hand, he introduces himself, “Andrew Mass. You might not remember me, but I graduated from Woodstock in 2004.”

I pause, hesitate some more, and then… my face lighting up with a grin of recognition, I offer a two-word response: “Mass Destruction.”

A wide grin lights up his face and he replies, “Yup. That’s me.”

The Zen of JV Football is a uniquely Hyde approach to athletic stewardship, ownership and pure crazy fun. The tradition began in the 90’s when each JV Football player was given a nickname. Hyde coaches Mike Dawes and Bob Felt ’90 were the founders of the JV naming ceremony. As Mike said to the students (in a voice worthy of that guy who bellows, “Let’s get ready to rumble!!!”) during the ceremony, “JV Football is where we transform to transcend our everyday problems in a common goal of victory. Let the naming ceremony begin!” Monikers have included: Sammy the Bull, Crazy Legs, Hurricane, Pac Man, Space Dog, and many others, including……Mass Destruction!

Though the JV football season is a short 2-1/2 months, the nicknames endure.

Onward, Malcolm Gauld