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Don’t Sack the Sacks

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Junior Johnathan Best plays hacky sack during his lunch period

Junior Johnathan Best plays hacky sack during his lunch period

Kate Cressey

Kate Cressey

Junior Johnathan Best plays hacky sack during his lunch period

Topher Wagner, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Small circles of upper and underclassmen shuffle throughout the hallways on the lookout for administrators. One wrong move could result in disciplinary measures, but these students know the risks. A new epidemic has struck the school, and that epidemic is hacky sack. The newest fad of our generation, hacky sack has been brought back after several decades of obscurity. Now that it is back, it still has its fair share of critics, particularly from members of the administration. Although many groups of friends are allowed to play outside during lunch, many students have began to complain of a supposed ban on hacky sack, especially during Patriot Period.

Dating back thousands of years, most cultures throughout the world have evidence of hacky sacking although the term did not emerge until the 70s. In modern times, hacky sack is defined by a group of people using any body part other than their hands to keep the sack up in the air by hitting it back and forth for as many “touches” as possible. While many Yorktown lacrosse players have taken to playing it in between practices and games, amateur hacky sacking has spread throughout the student body.

Despite many groups of friends hacky sacking less and less for fear of being disciplined, there are still many hacky sack groups around the school. Each group and every member has a story of how they learned the art of hacky sack.

“Sophomore year, here and there around the school, pretty much with lacrosse, that’s where I learned the skills. I learned how to get my toe touches from Pat Gulyas, the Velvet Slipper himself,” said junior Ethan Chase.

Unfortunately, a game beloved by many has some enemies amongst adults. While some teachers have shown their love for the game by getting a few touches in the hallway, certain members of the administration have placed rules in place to shut down hacky sack circles. Even during Patriot Period, which many think is a time to relax with their friends, hacky sack has been banned. Although some administrators declined to comment, Activities Coordinator Mike Kroofeld was able to speak about hacky sack.

“When Patriot Period was established, it was designed to allow students to seek out extra help, or have time to socialize with their peers without scheduled activities. The discussion that was had in the beginning of the year was that we would not want students to engage in athletic activities during Patriot Period. Whether or not people consider hacky sack an athletic activity is up to their own discretion,” said Kroofeld.

Although these bans have discouraged and stopped “sack circles,” some rebels still avoid the rules by sacking during their lunch periods and in the courtyard.

“Personally, and I think that I can say this for the whole group, we learn more from hacky sacking than we do in school,” said Chase.

There are many students who want an explanation for the banning of their beloved game. Since they are allowed to hacky sack in the courtyard during lunch periods and some teachers encourage it, many then question why are they not allowed to sack indoors and during Patriot Period. Sacking could arguably be more stimulating to the brain than simply sitting to talk in the cafeteria, but rules are rules.

“Is hacky sack the worst thing in the world? No. No one is arguing that it is that bad,” Kroofeld said.  “Washington-Lee did have a situation where one of the sprinkler heads got broken (it was something harder than a hacky sack), but once one of those breaks, the entire system in that area goes off. It gives out a tremendous amount of water and can do a lot of damage. So for me, any type of ball in this school is probably not wise.”

While this may not be the desired response for hacky sackers, it is important to understand that the administration means no harm by their ban on hacky sack for Patriot Period. This decision has been put in place to prevent possible damage from the school and encourage educational studies. Even though this may mean more secret hacky sack circles, one thing is for sure: nothing can stop the most determined hacky sackers in Arlington County.

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Don’t Sack the Sacks