St. John’s Game returns with full force after two years


Dillon Bell

Kinkaid’s star senior running back Dillon Bell, mid-game (from first game of the season)

Trace St. Julian, New Editor

The Falcon football team stood on the west sideline, their opponents adorned in white and red uniforms on the opposite side. As the teams lined up for kickoff, history teacher Mr. Ted Curry’s voice rang out over the loudspeaker at Barnhart Stadium.

“Friday night, under the lights! Where would you rather be than right here, right now?,” he said.

In 2020, for the first time since 1978, the Kinkaid-St. John’s football game was not played at Rice Stadium. COVID-19 closed Rice Stadium from visitors, and while St. John’s was set to be the home team, the game was moved to Segal Field because Kinkaid was the only school whose COVID-19 protocols allowed students to attend. 

And although seniors cheered while being socially distanced in the bleachers––the first and only time any students were allowed to attend a football game in 2020––as the Falcons rolled to a 36-8 win, the energy was not quite the same.

“It was strange, to say the least,” said Jack Klosek, a senior on varsity football. “The atmosphere was nowhere near the same, and while we were victorious, it didn’t have the same energy and excitement as the game had in previous years.” 

The St. John’s game will return to Rice Stadium tonight and so will the pre-game Falcon Feast tailgate and festivities. 

The anticipation for the return to Rice, which was not a guarantee at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, is evident among the Kinkaid athletic community. 

“I think the community experience that is generated with us playing at Rice was definitely the biggest thing that we missed last year,” said Mr. David Holm, director of athletics. “It goes without saying that our return to Rice provides even more hope that we are moving in the right direction and towards a type of normalcy for some of our most favorite traditions.”

Players are excited as well. 

“It feels awesome,” said Alex Gottegen, captain of the varsity football team. “Rice Stadium is such a big part of the St. John’s versus Kinkaid rivalry. Being able to compete there one last time is going to be super special for us seniors.” 

This year’s St. John’s game is set up to be a thrilling one. 

With a 7-1 record (3-1 in the Southwestern Preparatory Conference, the same as the Falcons), the Mavericks have one of the best football teams they have had in the past decade. 

The winner of the game will travel to Dallas the next week to play the Episcopal School of Dallas, which gave both the Falcons and the Mavericks their single SPC loss, for the SPC championship; for the loser, the season will be over. 

And so, with such a match-up, it only feels right for one of Kinkaid’s favorite traditions to return to Rice Stadium.