Bruin Cup takes place of sport banquets

Luke Wyrick

With only days left in the 2011-2012 school year, the long-awaited senior activities come to a close. The end-of-the-year assembly, prom and graduation have always been a traditional part of this, but this year some activities come with a change for those who participate in Bruin athletics throughout the school year.
New this year is the Bruin Cup, a culmination event for all sport seasons combined instead of having a banquet at the end of each one.
“The program of the Bruin Cup is video driven and individual coaches will not be sharing highlights from their seasons, as they did with the sports banquets,” athletic director Jennifer Mast said. “There are a few award categories and there will be award winners, which is also different from sports banquets.”
Rock Bridge has grown not only in size, but in athletic achievements, as well. Winning district championships in 12 sports and state championships in six sports so far this year, the Bruin Cup is to be thought of as more of a celebration than just an average banquet.
“It was a joint effort between several people, not just the administration. Rock Bridge has outgrown sports banquets; they began when we were a smaller school and served as the only banquet for all our teams.  The Bruin Cup idea came from the combination of needing a different model than the sports banquet and an inter-department, year round competition idea, which we called the Bruin Cup, that we kicked around for a year,” Mast said. “We were having trouble making that idea work, but we started to think of it in terms of a celebration and we came to the model we will execute on Monday evening.”
The energy that has powered the creation of the Bruin Cup isn’t only at the hands of administration and directors, but also assisted with help from RB athletes and students. These students met once or twice a month since the beginning of the year for a couple of hours at a time, cross country representative senior Emily Smith said. The student board, which Smith is part of, is only one of the many committees working to make the Bruin Cup happen.
“A lot of hard work’s been going into it,”  Smith said. “There’s the Bruin Cup student board which has a representative from every sport, then there’s some more students on the video committee who have also been helping out with that. There’s also a Bruin Cup parent committee that’s been meeting outside of these meetings.”
With the student board being the final decision maker for the development of the Bruin Cup, Smith has expressed her feelings about the change.
“Really it’s come down to what the student board thinks people want to see and what people want to hear about. I think that the spirit of Rock Bridge will still be there and I think that there’s going to be a larger focus on coming together since it will be all three seasons,” Smith said. “So I think that will make it a little different, but I think the idea that we’re still celebrating our athletics, which have obviously been really good this year, and those are things that need to be recognized and what makes the recognition a little bit more special and meaningful.”
By Luke Wyrick