On Saturday October 9th, the Loomis Chaffee boys varsity soccer team rivaled Suffield Academy on the Pratt Turf under the lights. The increasing strength of Suffield Academy’s developing team challenged Loomis in a competitive matchup. After our previous triumph of a 3-1 win last year, we knew Suffield would put up a tough fight. Marching on the fields proudly wearing our Nothing But Nets jerseys, we were ready to play. Neck and neck throughout the first half, the fans rallied for a goal and the upper hand in the game. The many scoring opportunities by Loomis kept the fans on their toes throughout the chilly night. However, both squads defended well and the final buzzer sounded to end the game at a 0-0 draw. The rematch next year will be a much-anticipated event.
However, the large fan base wasn’t only supporting the teams, but also a great cause. In the weeks leading up to the game, fliers and videos circled around campus broadcasting the charity event and gaining support for the Nothing But Nets campaign. Rallying over 300 spectators that night, the entire fan section was ready to cheer on their team and promote an incredible organization. Opposing our fan section, three tightly packed Suffield school buses pulled up to Loomis filled with an additional squad of raging fans.
During the game, the team parents hosted a bake sale – the proceeds of which would go to support of Nothing But Nets mission to end deaths from malaria. In addition to delicious baked goods, profits of the sale of “Buzzkill” t-shirts and Nothing But Nets sweatbands helped buy more life-saving bed nets to save more lives. In conjunction with the baked goods and paraphernalia, William Cleary, son of a Loomis Chaffee faculty member, organized a local soda can drive which collected enough cans to donate more than $100!
The Nothing But Nets rivalry game was more than a team effort; it was a school wide movement. Set under the lights, the glowing orange “Buzzkill” t-shirts complimented the motivational outbursts from the Loomis fan section. Fans were exhilarated because, in this game, a goal would mean much more than one point.
As the game intensified, the spots of orange “Buzzkill” t-shirts turned into mobs and we could tell that the crowd wanted more than a win, they wanted to save lives. There are many clubs and organizations around campus, but the support for the Nothing But Nets game remains unparalleled to other events both on and off campus. It was clear that the entire school was not just behind a win on the field, but a win in the fight to end malaria.
Although the game was a tie, the entire student body played a part in the real win: $2,000 dollars raised, 200 nets donated, 200 lives saved.