By Ryan Ryu ’25
In a blink of an eye, the Highlanders are back on campus. As the fall term began, football season started its practice with the football team’s signature hype chanting, “It’s a great day to be alive, but it’s even a greater day to be a Highlander.” Football is one of the longest-running athletic programs at the school; as the Frederick Gunn School states, “Football has had a long-standing and rich tradition here at The Frederick Gunn School, as students at our school have been playing this great sport since the mid-1850’s when Mr. Gunn – our founder – was running the school and organizing games throughout the fall and winter seasons. Mr. Gunn believed that athletics played a significant role in a student’s personal development.”
The football program at the Frederick Gunn School is unlike any other regular football program across the country. In early October 2015, The Frederick Gunn School and Millbrook School made a groundbreaking announcement regarding their collaborative effort to introduce an eight-player football initiative within New England’s prestigious preparatory school circuit. This initiative aims “to provide a viable, long-term alternative to the game in its traditional form.” Since the initial announcement, the league has seen an impressive surge in participation, with over nine more schools eagerly joining the league.
Following a thrilling conclusion to the 2022-2023 football season, where the Highlanders secured an impressive record of four wins and only two losses, the anticipation is palpable as we embark on another exhilarating season of football action. Despite facing the challenge of a reduced roster due to the departure of ten seasoned seniors, the Highlanders have displayed unwavering dedication and commitment to their quest for excellence in the game.
Assistant Coach Mihailey, who has recently joined the Gunn community as a Director of Campus Safety after being the Head Coach for baseball and football at Emmett O’Brien Technical High School and Head Football Coach at Nonnewaug High School, describes, “We are working hard to build off the success we had last season. Last year’s seniors set the standard for the program moving forward. This year’s group knows what the expectations are and understands the challenges we face each day. The camaraderie is there, the work ethic is there, and now we have to come together as a unit. I look forward to seeing this group prepare and strive to be successful on and off the field.”
As the sun sets on one season, it rises on another, and the Highlanders are determined to once again stake their claim as a dominant force on the gridiron. With unyielding teamwork and relentless effort, they are ready to face the competition head-on and continue their pursuit of triumph and glory. The stage is set, the players are prepared, and the Highlanders are primed for an unforgettable journey through this new football season.