Honoring traditions at New Life
Traditions run deep at New Life Christian School. Both athletics and student performances are fond memories that this year's crop of seniors will be creating, and those that alumni still cherish.
"Red and black attack!" the fans chant as New Life basketball players run out onto the court. Fired up players gather in the middle for a team huddle then sprint into their warm-up lines for pre-game drills.
Basketball at New Life is a revered tradition. Like the hardwoods of the Indiana Hoosiers or North Carolina Tarheels, playing Dr. James Naismith's game means heritage. With more than 25 years of basketball history, a multitude of banners adorn the high NLCS gym walls of past championships and playoff records.
We are a very small school and this tradition is not taken lightly. It doesn't matter if you're 6-foot-3 or 5-foot-nothing — almost all of the high school students participate.
The Lady Crusaders have only six players, leaving a thin bench, but all the girls are committed to the team.
"It's my way of supporting the school," said senior basketball player Haley Moody.
We participate in tournaments every year and play a tough non-league schedule to get us prepared for the season. It pays off as our teams almost always go to playoffs. Guys and girls basketball generally starts around November and ends around February.
Boys coach Steve Smotherman was a former player who started playing at New Life in the fourth grade. He said it was a source of enjoyment, and the childhood memories still bring a smile to his face. Now he is proud to coach his son on the same team he played for.
"As the basketball team, we should carry on the legacy that the previous players left for us," said NLCS freshman Chase Smotherman.
Our school has other sports like soccer, volleyball and softball, but what most students can't wait to play is basketball.
Another tradition we carry on is a series of skits, parodies and spoofs of songs or other popular culture. These are performed by seniors on Valentine's Day to an auditorium of friends and family in the annual "Drama and Dessert."
It includes a prize-filled raffle, hilarious skits and, of course, dessert. The main dessert is always cheesecake and is served by the underclassmen during intermission.
This year's is the sixth annual performance. The seniors have written original skits; some will perform the best ones from past senior classes. All skits have a Valentine's Day theme and are always really fun for the seniors and the audience.
We are big into tradition at New Life. Our school opened in 1981, and the alumni and teachers set our school into motion during those beginning and formative years. We have been following their traditions as to how we should do things still to this day.
Whether it's basketball or a night of drama, we follow our school's traditions because we love our school. What's a school with out tradition? Our history is found hanging on the walls in plaques, trophies, banners and paintings of our beloved Crusader mascot. Without these things, New Life Christian School would not be the same.
Aaron Vieira is a senior at New Life Christian School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.