Duck Shorts and Other Ways Blazers Bond


Grace Loonan, Freelance Editor

Hey, lady blazers!! It’s that time of year again when the leaves are changing color and fall sports’ seasons are reaching a climax. Clubs are starting up, and rehearsals for the fall show have already begun. As schedules fill, extracurriculars offer a unique opportunity to bond with classmates and upperclassmen in an environment that is separate from the daily stresses of school and homework. Each activity creates its own traditions, each club has its own charm, each sport incorporates its own methods of bonding teammates and building camaraderie. From duck shorts worn by the cross country team to Just Dance breaks in robotics, let’s take a look at some of the different ways Vis teams and clubs go above and beyond to foster connection and create a memorable experience for the people involved.


Theater participated in a master class on comedy and movement in preparation for the fall show.

Behind the scenes in VISTA theater, both cast and crew members have come up with ways to have fun and bond together. After the spring musical, which is the final show of the year, the whole company gathers to participate in “Final Circle,” where they sit in a big circle for hours, passing on VISTA traditions through senior willings and laughing at inside jokes. According to Ginny Kraus, “it makes you feel so united as a company and proud of everything you accomplished that year!” Another staple of theater is the pre-shows, which are different “rituals” done before each performance by certain people (those who were willed a preexisting pre-show at Final Circle and those who have created their own). The rituals can be serious or silly, and they can be done alone, with another person, or with a group. For more updates on VISTA theater and their performances throughout the year, follow @vistatheater on Instagram.

The soccer team poses after a big win against the #2 seed Bloomington Kennedy


Each soccer team must be exhausted from playing as many as four games in a week, but they still make time to bond at practice and in the breaks between playing time. Paige Abbott, a member of the varsity team, says, “We just joke around, have fun, and get hyped on the bus before games!” Soccer also organizes a team bonding day, where players participate in a scavenger hunt and play Capture the Flag, and they have done two team dinners so far. For more updates on the soccer team and their season, follow @vissoccer21 on Instagram.

Left to Right: Seniors Marta Pursley, Madelyn McGrath, Olivia Johanns, Emily Wollan, and Mary Harrington pose for a photo before their swim meet.

Swim and Dive:

At the beginning of the season, the swim and dive team has a sleepover, which Sophomore Grace Nilsson says “is super special and helps everyone kind of get settled in and welcomed to the team.” Every member of the swim and dive team also has a “secret sister,” which is another diver or swimmer who leaves little gifts in their locker on meet days and does other random acts of kindness for them while staying anonymous. Additionally, the team holds optional dryland practices three times a week, and they enjoy bagels after Saturday practices. For more updates on the swim and dive team and their season, follow @visswim and @vis.dive on Instagram.



At the start of the season, the Robettes organize a day-long Saturday retreat in which team members gather to partake in bonding exercises and learn about the team’s mission and core values. During practices, people in robotics have Just Dance parties during snack break in order to grow closer to teammates and take a quick pause from the work they do with building, programming, and wiring their robot. The robotics team is mostly run by students, which creates a more enthusiastic atmosphere and helps to bring the team closer together. A notable tradition of the Robettes is dancing to the “Cotton Eye Joe” song, which the entire team participates in every once in a while, doing the dance in unison for the entire length of the song. For more updates on the Robettes and their mission and season, follow @therobettes on Instagram.

The cross country team poses in their matching duck shorts before a practice

Cross Country:

As you’ve probably noticed, the cross country team all bought pairs of Chicken Legs duck shorts from Run N Fun. Each week, they designate a random day (usually when it’s an easy workout) as Duck Short Day, and they all wear their duck shorts to practice. The team also plays cards and sings karaoke on bus rides to meets, and the captains bring bagels for everyone to eat after races. I asked the team what they enjoy about cross country, and here’s what they said >> Molly Kolar: “Everyone gets to practice together every day, whether you’re varsity or JV, so we get a lot closer to everyone on the team.” Elizabeth Michel: “I really enjoy all the fun and crazy inside jokes we have with each other.” Melissa Remick: “The team is like a family.” For more updates on the cross country team and their season, follow on Instagram.



The tennis team smiles after their first home match which they won 7-0.

Although the tennis team is wrapping up their season now, the memories they’ve made with teammates will last throughout the school year. Multiple tennis players have commented on how much they enjoy the small size of the JV and varsity teams as it enables players to get to know each other better. Grace Keeley’s favorite tennis tradition is the nicknames varsity players give to their teammates and call each other by. Grace says, “this year for picture day and a couple of matches, we wrote our nicknames on our arms in sharpie! It was a super fun way to show off our funny inside jokes!” Tennis also goes to dinner as a team after some practices and matches. For more updates on the tennis team and their season, follow @vis_tennis on Instagram.


The volleyball team celebrates a point


Besides any volleyball fan’s weekly routine of getting the $5 Chick-fil-A sandwich and going to watch a few minutes of the game (or staying for the whole thing), the volleyball team has some bonding traditions of their own. Caitlin Mulligan says, “we get Jimmy John’s before games a lot and sometimes spend the last few minutes of practice talking about our weeks and stuff going on with us.” The B and C teams have also started a routine where everyone’s name is put in a jar, and team members cheer on whoever’s name they draw throughout the practice. According to Katie Zurawski, “this is a really great way to build the team environment on and off the court.” For more updates on the volleyball team and their season, follow @visvball on Instagram.



Choir snaps a quick selfie before singing the National Anthem at the Twins Game

People can tell that choir is a close-knit group just from hearing their silly vocal warmups, which they do as a group at the beginning of each class. Some people (a.k.a. RJ) go so far as to call it “a literal cult.” The Visitation choir as a whole is smaller, which brings everyone closer together and allows them to have more singing opportunities outside of school, such as performing the national anthem at a Twins game. Choir also has a “choir fun night” in September, where they sing with the STA choir, and they wear choir robes for some of their concerts. Choir members will frequently be heard singing the songs they have learned at random points during flex and on the heart stairs going up to class. For more updates on the Vis choir and their upcoming concerts, follow @vischoirs on Instagram.

Mock Trial:

One of the great traditions of the Vis Mock Trial team is bribery. To be more specific, Judge Connolly, who coaches Mock Trial, rewards team members with dollars, known as “Judge dollars” when they answer a question well, perform well in a trial, or even just agree to be a lawyer. This, and other “Judge jokes” resulting from Judge Connolly’s humorous sarcasm create a fun atmosphere in the practices. Additionally, each student lawyer in Mock Trial is paired with a witness whom they are defending in the case, and team members in each of these lawyer-witness pairings will FaceTime each other frequently to practice their direct examination before a trial. These calls allow teammates to connect with the person they are paired with and forge closer friendships.