Hacky sack league kicks off once again

By Caius Michlitsch, Mindy Wang and Nishka Avunoori, Staff Reporters and Co-Webmaster

What may seem like a new trend is sweeping through the courtyard. The muffled thunk of a hacky sack being kicked by a circle of students has become commonplace. The hacky sack league has become a lighthearted pastime for many, bringing a positive feeling to students who participate. 

“It (the hacky sack league) was created for a nice pastime to just spend time with your friends outside and get some exercise in, you know. It’s just like a fun little game,” senior Alex Harris said.

Hacky sack’s history at ’Stoga dates back to the game’s first burst of popularity in the early 1970s. Hacky sack is a relatively simple sport to learn, played by someone beginning the game by dropping a bag of sand or small pellets, which an opposing player returns with their foot. The game is then continued by keeping the bag off the ground using only feet, with the player who misses the bag first being dubbed “out” if playing an elimination round. After kicking the bag three times, players may also catch the bag and throw it at an opposing player. If an opponent is hit, they are out.

Hacky sack had largely fallen dormant among students before being revived by seniors Ryan Schappell and Ty Sanders. With hacky sack’s friendly environment appealing to students returning from the extended shutdown, participation has been high. Players had floated the idea of making the hacky sack league an official school club, however the school denied their request.  

Hacky sack is primarily played during third and eighth periods, though it is not atypical to find students playing during lunch and free periods. Most competitors are seniors; however, there are participants from all grades.

Senior Jimmy Marturano can frequently be found playing during his seventh and eighth period free period among his friends. He started playing to socialize, encouraging others to join them

“It helps me (find relief) from all the stress I have from school and some of my classes, and it’s a good way to end the day,” Marturano said.

League-play adds an element of friendly competition to the classic game. The league’s Instagram page, @stogasack, posts weekly rankings for each player. Senior Peter Detwiler led the pack during the first three weeks but was overtaken by senior Ty Sanders in week four. Sanders was barely trailing Detwiler before his week four performance, he ranked second in weeks two and three.

“The committee voted that I’m actually ahead of (Peter) now but to do that I had to just win a bunch of games last week and just play pretty well,” Sanders said.

The league also awards “Hydro Flask Player of The Week” alongside the rankings at the end of each week to a standout player. Detwiler received the award at the end of week two, followed by senior Joey Cantando in week three, then Sanders in week four.

“For anyone that has third free and wants to come and play,” Sanders said. “We’re here every single day, so it’s open for everyone to come and play.”

Check out Nishka Avunoori and Mindy Wang’s video package of the sport!

Caius Michlitsch can be reached at [email protected]

Nishka Avunoori can be reached at [email protected]

Mindy Wang can be reached at [email protected]