Welcome to the Third Year Blog!
The autumn term is starting to feel more like the autumn term. Soon, the acute understanding of which of the School’s classrooms are essentially saunas when the sun is out will fade and the 3G at lunch will become the preserve of those who are willing to play football in their School uniform regardless of the weather (which, in fairness, is about 95% of the year, with the remaining wise souls content to make the most of the outstanding clubs on offer inside, and to avoid the rush for lunch as everyone else tries to get that sweet, sweet sausage casserole simultaneously, having sprinted dining-hall-wards far too late). As these changes come and the leaves fall and the year progresses, we settle more comfortably into the rhythms of the autumn term, a large part of which is the winter sport program, with Football and Rugby taking centre stage.
Cup runs are started and established, teams are gradually formed and solidified, friendships are strengthened and deepened, rivalries with other schools are rekindled (or kindled) and, ultimately, memories and legends are made. Often, these legends are made deep into the season as push comes to shove in a cup competition, or a developing trend in a season is reversed. Rarely does something transformative happen at the start of the season.
So, it was with shock that the Third Year Blog stood in assembly to hear Mr Knibbs state that at the weekend he had “seen THE GREATEST GOAL EVER SCORED ON PITCH 2”
Now, Mr Knibbs is an Arsenal fan, which inevitably calls into question his judgement in such matters, but he is not a man prone to hyperbole. When one considers the incredible goals that will have been scored by Hamptonians over the years (and, whisper it softly, by their opponents) on the storied surface of Pitch 2, it emphasises what a remarkable finish this must have been.
Most importantly for this publication, the goal in question had been scored by a Third Year player in the U14A squad: Rufus L (3E). Those familiar with Rufus will know two things:
- He is a shy, retiring type, unlikely to mention this goal to anyone at all under his own steam.
- He rarely scores goals.
So, in order to celebrate this incredible moment, this week’s blog is essentially a ‘Rufus L’s goal special’, with a match report from the man himself as well as an oral history from the players involved.
We will of course, also have Two Truths and a Lie and Connection Corner as well as taking the chance to shine a light on some of the outstanding clubs on offer at lunchtime, but we make no apologies for admitting that these are a little secondary in this unique case.
Let’s get into it all….
HEADS OF YEAR MESSAGE
We have every faith that Third Year pupils will do an excellent job showing visitors around the School site during Open Morning on Saturday. A reminder that boys should arrive looking smart in their school uniform and enter the School via the Lecture Theatre entrance having come through the LEH/Hampton gate (next to the 3G pitch) in time to register by 10:30am. Collection is at 12.30pm. Any parents dropping their sons off by car on Open Morning will need to park in the LEH car park. It is important to note that all Third Year pupils are expected to attend Open Morning unless they are playing in a School sports fixture or parents have requested authorised absence in advance. As such, please notify the school in the normal way (email@example.com) if your son is absent for medical reasons on Open Morning.
We were delighted that so many Third Year parents were able to attend the Pastoral Forum on Monday evening, and thank you to those of you that did attend for your contributions during the discussion groups.
To encourage the boys to think proactively about their own pastoral needs, one of the school counsellors visits each Form Group during an afternoon registration in the early weeks of term. This is a simple introduction to the counselling team and the service they offer in School. It also gives boys the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. These visits have been taking place during afternoon registrations over the last two weeks.
Boys – Please remember to let us, your Form Tutors or the relevant subject teachers know if you are having any difficulties.
Have a lovely weekend.
Mr Rigby & Mrs Bedford
If you speak to recently retired members of the Hampton Common Room, one of the most enduring memories they all have is the sinking certainty that you will have forgotten to remind your pupils about one of the frankly enormous amount of clubs that you receive emails about in the microseconds before registration starts. This underlying anxiety about having forgotten about one of the announcements is tinged with jealousy at the opportunities and possibilities that are available for Hamptonians during the 75 minutes allocated for lunch.
As mentioned in our lengthy introduction, on occasion, there is a sense that the siren call of the 3G is simply too much for some pupils to consider other options, but if you were to consider those options, you would be astounded at what is on offer. Just this week, we have had messages about:
Junior Linguistics Club (1.10pm on a Wednesday in S30). This week, there was the opportunity to learn more about Welsh, Catalan and Abma, the language of the people of Vanuatu.
Junior Programming Team (12.35pm on a Wednesday in G66). Here the team is coached by senior boys, helping them to develop and improve their programming skills.
Croquet Club (Wednesday lunchtimes). On this occasion, the weather beat croquet club, but if it is fine, they can be found by the tennis courts on Wednesday lunchtime – what a way to spend you early afternoon!
Design Ventura Competition. This was the opportunity to get involved in a National competition to try to design a product that will be sold in the shop of London’s Design Museum. While this was a one off meeting, if you speak to Mr McKitrick you can still get involved.
Cryptic Crossword Club (Tuesday 12.35pm in G49). This is essentially word-based puzzling and codebreaking. But, it is sophisticated codebreaking that can then afford you a lifetime of daily fun challenges found in any broadsheet newspaper.
This is all from the last few days, and doesn’t take into account Lego Architecture Club, Basketball, Badminton, Beekeeping, Creative Writing, Pride Society, Maths Club, History Society, Debating Club, Model United Nations and a million other awesome things to get involved with. In week one, all of these clubs were promoted to the Third Year, but it is possible that the opportunity gets lost in the excitement of the new term. All we would request here at the Third Year Blog, is that you make sure you take these opportunities while they are here – you may find something life changing!
Take a look at the full list of all clubs, societies and other co-curricular activities on offer in the booklet below:
Before focusing in on THE GOAL, we have a match report, penned by none other than Rufus L (3E) himself.
The match between Hampton’s U14A team and Bede’s School. Both teams started with positive intent showing some good signs in the attacking third. However, we had to wait until the 32nd minute for a goal, with Hampton stringing three beautiful passes together. Tolu I played a perfectly weighted pass up the wing towards Noah RdM who, as usual, controlled it with amazing precision. Noah then proceeded to knock the ball into Bailey H-C’s feet who then threaded a through ball into Ned L who finished with a strike around the keeper to put Hampton 1-0 up.
Unfortunately, only a few minutes after, Bede’s equalised with a goal with what some Hampton supporters felt was a possibly controversial build up. Luckily, Hampton did not lose their heads and ended the half well with a few more exciting chances. During the second half both teams were equally matched and it felt as if any side could win the game at any moment. Luckily for Hampton, Rufus L delivered with a moment to remember. With everyone looking on, including the headmaster, Rufus won the ball back high up on the right side of the pitch, rolled his defender and took two touches before… BANG. A thunderous shot from around 25 yards out soared through the air, whizzing into the top left-hand corner.
Everyone was left mesmerised before a booming cheer was heard all around the pitch. After multiple celebrations, Hampton returned to the half way line and in quick succession, Ollie K assisted Myan M to put the game to bed. Soon after the final whistle blew with the score ending in 3-1 to Hampton.
Well, that certainly captured the match effectively, but how did he teammates and coach describe the glorious moment itself?
What is clear from their accounts is that the match was at a point where the chances of winning seemed to be dwindling. As one player put it, ‘no average goal was going to win us this one’. Another player felt that while we had had ‘a lot of the possession… no real opportunities had unfolded’ and there was a sense that ‘everyone’s spirits, from player to fans had dropped’. The view was that ‘the game had reached a stalemate, the score was even and both teams were afraid to attack out of fear of conceding on the counterattack.’
When the ball arrived at Rufus’ feet, some of his teammates were sceptical that shooting was the right option, with one teammate claiming that ‘when I saw him slowly gather himself up for a big powerful strike, I put my hands on my head, thinking that the ball would go miles from the goal’. The team’s goalkeeper ‘was about to shout for him to cross it… he was wildly far out and the angle favoured his weak foot, but he didn’t care.’ Even on its way to the goal, there was uncertainty: ‘No one said a word, but everyone thought the same thing, will this go in?’
Go in it did, and the descriptions of the strike reflect the impact it had. One player claimed that ‘as soon as it left his foot, I knew this was something special’. It was described as ‘smashed… into the top left corner, rattling the framework’ of the goal. The ball was ‘whipped…as far into the side netting as possible’. One teammate was reduced to simply saying ‘it was magical.’
What happened next? It seems there was a general sense of ‘disbelief’ before those watching, players and fans alike ‘erupted’.
After that, things are less clear. What is apparent is that Rufus did not limit himself in his approach to celebrating his wonder strike. For some, it was a distraction, with the sense that ‘once Rufus was done doing multiple celebrations, we could refocus’. The idea that the celebrations were lengthy is a consistent theme, with one player suggesting that ‘he danced around the corner flag, knee slided to the parents and even did the Marcus Rashford celebration’, with this player also pondering as to whether this is because maybe Rufus thought he would never ‘score a goal of that calibre again.’ Another teammate felt that even this might be underestimating Rufus’ reaction to the goal suggesting that there were ‘5 or 6, I can’t remember’. As another teammate pointed out, ‘adrenaline’ must have played a role with the outcome that Rufus ‘couldn’t stop celebrating, one celebration, after another, and another, and another. Even the ref started to get impatient.’ What a moment.
Thanks to Ned L, Harrison G, Henry W, James P, Noah RdM, Ben W, Bailey H-C, Leo N, Tom S, George E, Oliver K and Seb H for sharing their recollections.
What did the team’s coach, Mr Hooper, think? Well, he was moved to write a brief piece of poetry.
If you can score from 30 yards when all about you
Are missing open goals;
If you can trust yourself to score,
When all around you are doubting it…
With sixty seconds’ worth of celebration (and years of talking no doubt!)—
Yours is F2 and everything around it,
And—which is more—you’ll get a mention in assembly!
Which just about seems to capture it.
We often talk about the idea that your time at Hampton will lead to wonderful memories in later life. This was a live example.
Two truths and a lie
Last week, Mr Green was the teacher willing to undermine his credibility by lying in writing. Below are the claims he made. Which is the lie?
- Mr Green has an irrational dislike of men wearing scarves indoors
- Mr Green makes his own butter
- Mr Green’s favourite colour is green
Well, it turns out that Mr Green does make his own butter. He also struggles to deal with the scenario of a man feeling the cold on his neck whilst indoors. Which all means that the lie is that his favourite colour is green – it is blue.
This week, Mr Walsh, Tutor for 3E, steps up to the plate. This all sounds like nonsense, but only one of these three is untrue.
- Mr Walsh has travelled to 58 countries
- Mr Walsh is deeply afraid of spiders
- Mr Walsh is Diamond 2 on Rocket League
Which is the lie?
A big shout out to all the Third Year Hamptonians who had a go at the very first Connection Corner of the year and well done those of you who answered all the questions correctly and guessed the connection as Disney characters! Merits go to William O’S, Ryan W, Rory M, Kiran G, Olly P, Luke F, Arthur K, Henry W, Sena K, Svajan G, Rafe M, Lorenzo I, Freddie T and Jasper M.
Another tricky one this week, have a go over the weekend and see if you can spot the connection:
In case you’re still perplexed, here are last week’s answers:
Which planet was demoted to a “dwarf planet in 2006”? Pluto
What flower often found in fields, is commonly chained together to form garlands? Daisy
Who was elected as the 45th President of the United States? Donald Trump
Which actor played the part of Whiplash in Iron Man 2? Mickey Rourke
Connection: Pluto, Donald, Mickey, Daisy