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Breaking Bread: Team Dinners Seek to Form Unbreakable Bonds

(Clockwise) Ethan Hansen, George Effertz, Braden Lamley, Callen Eskew, Eli Rourke, Kevin Sullivan, Nathan Lamley, Cooper Scott, Brady Maher and Luke Johnson

“What’s for dinner?”

Asking a teammate this question means one thing: team dinner. While many teams will go out to eat after practices or games, gathering together at a teammate’s home to share a meal and talk to one another is a different experience.

Team dinners are nothing new, and not specific to Rockhurst. The concept doesn’t even seem to be specific to sports, as many clubs and other Rockhurst organizations have been holding dinners for years.

The anticipation and excitement that precede a team dinner are all about the prospect of delicious food. The basketball team, for one, enjoys a meal packed with carbohydrates to refuel after a long practice, and in preparation for the next big game.

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“My favorite team dinner this year was when we had Olive Garden at Brady Maher’s house,” sophomore Cohen Robinson said. “There’s something different about a filling meal after a tough practice. And being able to talk with teammates makes it that much sweeter.”

Dinners vary with the size of the team, how many dinners they can fit in during a season, and where they can hold the dinners. For example, the football Hawklets held 13 team dinners, one before every game. Senior offensive lineman Luke Lewellen especially enjoyed the meal the team had at Charlie Hooper’s, which is owned by his family.

“It was cool to host everyone and see everyone have a good time,” he said. “Whenever we spend time bonding like that, I honestly feel like it makes the whole team better.”

In contrast, the cross country team only broke bread together twice throughout the season. With junior varsity and varsity meets at different times, it can be challenging to pick a date to get the whole team together. But that didn’t seem to hinder team chemistry or limit opportunities to bond with teammates.

“The time we spent together–whether it was during meets, practices, or meals–was time well spent, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way,” senior Drew McGalliard said.

While team dinners are certainly an important part of building chemistry and a bond between teammates, it’s not a be all end all. According to David Burkus, bestselling author of books like “Best Team Ever: the Surprising Science of High-Performing Teams,” teammates should be regularly reminded of their goals and past pains. Teams should have regular moments of “hanging out” to form uncommon commonalities. The more repetitions, the more bonding, and, eventually, the better performance of the team.

All teams at Rockhurst have the same goal every season: win a championship. Senior Jude Sojka believes that the swim and dive team’s success can be attributed to their bonds and the collective team culture.

“When you come up for air during a big meet, you can hear your teammates cheering you on, and it feels incredible,” said Sojka. “We won that state championship for each other, because that was the culture that’s been building for my entire high school career.”

While teams can bond regularly through practices and games, team dinners provide another chance to grow closer and form friendships. Even if a Rockhurst sports team doesn’t win a championship, members will leave with teammates who care about them and memories that will last longer than any game.

“I’m sure I won’t remember all the outcomes to every game, or our final record, but I’ll never forget how I felt while hanging out with my teammates,” said senior Brady Brown.


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About the Contributor
Eli Rourke
Eli Rourke, Staff Reporter
I’m a senior member of the Prep News Staff. I joined Prep News at the recommendation of fellow staff reporter, Mitch Forbes. I attended elementary school at Cure of Ars in Leawood, Kansas. This is my first year as a Prep News Staff Member. I joined Prep News because I want to know more about my community and maybe inform Rockhurst students about the happenings in and around the building. Outside of writing for the newspaper, I am a member of the basketball team, a Freshman Retreat Co-Chair, and an NHS Officer. I’m currently undecided on where I want to attend college. However, I am interested in studying finance.
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