A series of games dubbed the “Battle” was played between long-standing rival schools Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) and Concord Academy on Friday, January 27 at LCA. Inspired by the historical battle named after the two towns, the schools always use this annual tradition to each strive in an effort to win the Red Drum Trophy. The sporting events consisted of all-gender wrestling and boys’ and girls’ basketball at the Varsity and Junior Varsity levels, summing up to five games in total. Though CA may have lost this year, we gave it our all; there were many highlights from the games and an energetic spirit all around, too.
The first game of the event was the Girls’ Junior Varsity Basketball match. May Stutz ’26 described their game as close and well-fought, ending in a loss of only about five points. She elaborated, “[The game] got physical and emotional and everyone ‘battled’ hard.” For her, the cheers made the game all the better—she felt supported by those praises. “I didn’t mind playing in front of a large crowd, as I feed off [of] other people’s energy while maintaining a level head,” she stated. Others on the team like Ejemen Omanzane ’25 shared May’s thoughts on the fans, though she admitted it was a little nerve-racking at first. Ejemen also spoke about the importance of teamwork in the game. She explained, “We worked well together and supported each other on and off the court.” As for personal endeavors, Ejemen was proud of her performance at the Battle, calling it the best of her season. All in all, the Girls’ Junior Varsity Basketball match truly provided an exciting kickoff to the entire Battle, setting the atmosphere.
Next, CA’s All-Gender Varsity Wrestling team went head to head against LCA’s group, putting up a good fight. Laura Montoro ’26, a member of the wrestling team, shared similar thoughts to the basketball players about the nuanced feelings of nervousness and excitement for the student section. She said, “It’s definitely nerve racking seeing a bunch of people you know… but at a certain point, you [become] too focused on the match that you don’t pay much attention to the people.” Additionally, Laura recognized LCA’s great skill for wrestling and aims to do even better next year.
The most entertaining part of all of this Battle, however, seemed to be the energy and fighting spirit that reached its zenith in the finale of the night: Boys’ Varsity Basketball. Many fans found this last match to be their favorite game of the whole event, with the tensions high and the score tipping from one team to the other. Steven Miron Sanchez ’26 particularly liked the team spirit in both schools’ sections, explaining that everyone had peak energy and the gymnasium became astronomically loud. He stated, “The chants we [CA fans] yelled specifically were super fun, with ‘He’s a freshman,’ being one and ‘That’s our president’ being another.” Another element that added to the intensity of enthusiasm was the fact that it was the last chance to get one CA win. Laura added, “Even though we had already lost the Battle no one seemed to care—we were all just focused on having a good time watching the game.”
All things considered, the Battle was certainly a good experience for all and the spirit of good sportsmanship was present in the constant persistence that was shown. Most importantly of all, though, was the way in which a simple sporting rivalry brought two school communities together. With a supportive nature within each school and a respectful, competitive character holding the relationship between the two, the Battle of 2023 closed out as a win on both sides of the stands.