Cyclones Shine on the Homecoming Stage

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Splitting two defenders, Cole Phillips (‘22) starts at wide receiver

Written by Jack Barber (’25), Krishen Raju (’25), Cora Johnson (‘26), Lauren Kim (‘26), and Haya Zubair (‘26).

From two touchdown receptions by Ian Wallis (‘23) to a goal by Riley Dumigan’s (‘23) on the pitch, Cyclones fought hard for their three wins during a Homecoming that was 75 years in the making. Three cyclone teams faced SPC competition, while the football team competed within their independent schedule. 

With the pressure of Senior Night breathing down their necks, the Casady boys’ volleyball team faced two difficult challenges: playing the reigning SPC champions and saying the first of their goodbyes to their beloved seniors. St. Mark’s School of Texas, the boys’ challengers for the night, traveled to Casady the night of Homecoming. After numerous speeches reminiscing on touching memories, the boys refocused on their number one goal that evening: to beat the St. Mark’s team. Playing an SPC champion was nerve-wracking in and of itself, but to add to the pressure, the Casady boys hadn’t won against St. Marks in three years. Unafraid and confident, the boys came up with a game plan. They planned to get an early lead to get all the seniors in to play. Through teamwork, communication, and determination, the Cyclones easily won the first two sets. By the time the third set rolled around, they subbed all the seniors in and let them enjoy a night dedicated to them. “Everyone was so happy to see the seniors play. We love our seniors and are so sad to see them go. Having them here as our mentors is such a big thing for us, and some of these seniors are the reason why we started volleyball in the first place,” said Ivan Hua (‘26), one of three freshmen on varsity. Finishing up the game with the most entertaining set saved for last, the Cyclones completed the sweep to defeat the Lions. “This was the perfect night. Beating St. Marks 3-0 on Senior Night was a huge moment for the team. I know that this night will be one to remember this season,” continued Hua. 

Before the games even began, many events happened during Homecoming week, such as building decorating, powderpuff, Upper Division capture the flag, and sports games; one of which was varsity field hockey. The varsity game began after the all-school pep rally, and by the end of it, the team had won 5-0 against Hockaday School from Dallas, Texas. Before the game started, all of the seniors were introduced by alumni Emma McKinny (‘17), who now serves as an assistant coach. McKinney explains, “This year, we have been able to combine the skill with high levels of friendship and trust between teammates, and it has been amazing watching them grow together throughout the season.” Among those introduced, co-captains Riley Dumigan (‘23) and Caroline Currie (‘23) took the field alongside each other, a moment both girls had been anticipating since their Freshman year. Dumigan was given a free hit after getting fouled within the circle on purpose and scored with ease, helping contribute to the team’s outstanding win. The crowd at the game was very enthusiastic, showering their peers and friends with cheers and praise. Dumigan showed incredible talent as a midfielder, while Currie’s skills shined on the defensive end. The varsity team is the 2022 North Zone champion and will be competing in the SPC tournament on November 4th and 5th in Houston, Texas. 

Starting off strong, the Casady girls volleyball team played each and every point smartly and steadily. Led by captains Abby Bailey (‘23) and Kaitlyn Walsh (‘23), the team cheered and supported each other. Sophie Buthion (‘23) told the bench to “Get excited. This is our last game. Cheer everyone on. Show your love towards this team.” The team even surprised themselves when they continued to keep the game so tight. Everyone could see the improvement since last year when Casady had played Hockaday. These ladies worked hard to bring the score of one set from 25-4 last year to 25-20 this year. The defense was nearly perfect this past game. Defensive specialists Sarah Walsh (‘25), Kaitlyn Walsh, and freshman libero Maddie Fleming (‘26) were digging all across the floor. They were passing balls hit at the 10-foot line. Full-effort plays like this prove to show that the Casady Girls Volleyball team has many confident, exceptional players. For example, the starting middle Abby Bailey was up and ready to block each and every hit that Hockaday hurtled at them. She proved her skills to everyone when she perfectly timed a block from a back-row attack. Each player gave their all on the court, marking it a win for the ladies and coaches, regardless of the 0-3 loss.

On Friday night, the boys’ varsity football team lined up on the field to face the OKC Patriots. It wasn’t just any other game; it was Homecoming, and the pressure was high. Offensive lineman Connor Evans (‘23) stated that “the team [had] practiced relentlessly on the field and analyzed film over their opponent in anticipation for the big game.” With a packed stadium full of members of the Casady community, the game began. Starting off strong, Casady scored early in the first quarter through a field goal from Braden Gerard (‘24). In the second quarter, the Patriots began to close the gap with a touchdown, but with two touchdowns by Ian Wallis (‘23), one of them being from the sixty yard line, and another successful field goal by Braden Gerard (‘24), Casady dominated, entering halftime with a score of 20-7. In the third and fourth quarters, Casady fended off a strong Patriots rally with their strong defense and concluded the game with a final score of 25-13. Cheers and cries could be heard throughout the field as a strong victory compelled both the players and students to celebrate with joy. Not only victorious on the field, the Casady community also showed plenty of support in the stands, with the student section and grandstands rallying the players on with their powerful recitals of the school fight song and other chants. The hard work by the football team and the faculty during their rigorous summer camps and training sessions clearly showed that night through their firm victory against the Patriots. Speaking on the future of the team, Connor Evans (‘23) optimistically promised that “if the team continues to work as hard as it has been, we should continue to find success.” To wrap up, this game cements Casady’s strong return to form and hints at a promising season for the Casady Cyclones.

Behind stars like Hua, Dumigan, and Wallis, Cyclone athletics flourished under the pressure of a 75th Anniversary Homecoming with style. Fist pumps, muscle flexes, and team chants highlighted the confidence that Cyclone athletes are building heading into the OSSAA. A program with this much energy and talent will have no problem competing in a new conference starting in 2023.