History of Rope Pull Brings the Past and Present of Springfield Together

Greg Fitzpatrick
Online Editor
@GregFitzpatric2

Photo courtesy of Springfield College Archives.
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Archives.

On Saturday October 24. , the annual rope pull will take place on Stagg Field during halftime of the football game, as part of homecoming weekend.

Freshmen and sophomores will battle while the juniors and seniors will also test their mental toughness and strengths with one another. The winning class will then face off with the ever so proudly- decorated alumni.

It’s a great set up and may be a very familiar venue for the younger crowd, but a vast majority of alumni can surely remember a much different experience in the past.

Up until the early 1980s, freshmen were marched across the infamous live trestle that used to be located behind International Hall. As students that are just beginning to get a hold of the college lifestyle, the beanie-wearing freshmen had to pull up hill against the slightly older sophomores.

Deleney Magoffin, the current assistant director of Alumni Relations at Springfield College, described the crucial implications of the competition.

“If the freshmen won, they did not have to wear their beanies for the rest of the year,” said Magoffin. “If they lost, they had to wear it all year long.”

Now, freshmen are asked to wear their beanies only during new student orientation. It was not the case for the freshmen in the past as a possible year-long commitment to the maroon beanie on your head was at stake.

Once the late 1980s came around, freshmen and sophomores no longer battled for the rope near the trestle . It brings us to what transpires now during homecoming weekend for the rope pull competition.

This Saturday will mark the 12th year the rope pull has been at Stagg Field. One of our very active clubs on campus, the Student Alumni Association, had a key reason to bring the rope pull back.

“They (SAA) brought this back because they wanted to pull back the tradition of our past and honor this very, very old tradition,” said Magoffin.

During the 12-year existence of this newly-formed tradition, the alumni have made their presence known with a series of preparations before competing. Their preparations include a team stretch followed by a series of prideful chants to get their minds focused.

It seems like the alumni’s warmup has paid off as they have been crowned the rope-pull champions the last four years running.

The preparation, excitement from the crowd, and the crowning of the champion are all incredible aspects to the competition, but there is another special element; the master of ceremonies or the emcee . It has been a constant that alumni have been the emcee but this weekend we will see a change.

Senior Greg Woods will be taking the mic and he is no stranger to the spotlight. Besides being a key player for the men’s volleyball team, Woods was the emcee for Springfield’s Got Talent last year. Magoffin immediately saw something from a guy that is used to dominating on the net.

“He did a great job,” said Magoffin. “On point, so funny, so witty, and I just thought he would be perfect for this.”

Woods is looking forward to the opportunity.

“That’s a huge, huge honor,” said Woods. “I’m going to bring some energy to it and make it fun.”

The energy on Stagg Field is expected to be at full capacity. With the alumni asserting their dominance as of late, the pressure is high for their competition. A trophy will be presented to the winning team with their class year written on the plaque.

“It’s a feel-good, fun, event,” said Magoffin. “Everyone can participate from your class and so this really creates an opportunity for people who may have never met on campus to do something and have that kind of special moment to share.”

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