Hospitality. Inclusiveness. Hope. Charisms certainly matter to the Holy Cross community and beyond. Seeing the Academy as a post graduate can provide something close to an outsider’s view of how this community upholds its values. Why do post graduates return for a fifth year, and how are they received by the student body?
This year, post graduates (PGs) Jason Bauer (`17), Donald Dickens (`17), John ‘Jack’ Sullivan (`17), and I have already received our high school diplomas and are members of the Boys Prep Hockey Team. This team garners interest from the hockey world. However, being a post-graduate Prep Hockey player is not all highlight reel goals, bone-crushing hits, and special treatment. We’re not just avid hockey players. We’re students too.
Post grads are here for a specific purpose—to further academics and athletics. A day in the life of a 13th grader can be positive but stressful. Bauer, who hails from Bethel, Pennsylvania, was a standout as a senior on his former high school team, tallying 35 points in just 20 games. The Prep Hockey team has been in season since the beginning of October, and already, Bauer is known for his superior on-ice skill, but his sense of humor and ability to light up a room is what he is most known for.
Bauer said, “[I] wake up every day just blessed to be a post grad. The surroundings of the school leave me breathless.” While he may be slightly distracted by the breathtaking campus, he is here with his sights set on greater endeavors. When reflecting on why he decided to come to Gilmour, Bauer said, “[I] wanted to be a better hockey player and [post-grading at Gilmour] was a better option than playing in a bad junior hockey league.” Also, Bauer talked about the differences between playing NCAA Hockey as opposed to sports such as football or baseball. He added, “To play hockey in college, you have to be a bit older. You can keep your brain smart, and play tier one hockey here.”
Bauer not only hopes to improve physically. He aims to attain better scores on tests and exams like the SAT and the ACT. There is little doubt he will improve academically, as Bauer credits his upbringing for his tremendous work ethic in the classroom. Bauer said, “Obviously school comes first. That’s how I was raised.” His main enjoyment at Gilmour is his treatment from other students.
“I’ve received nothing but positive experiences on and off the ice,” he said. “After I’m done hanging with everybody, I usually go hang out with more friends in different areas. Everyone loves hanging with PGs.”
Jack Sullivan is from Elmhurst, Illinois. He is a force to be reckoned with as a defenseman. Not only is he known for singlehandedly skating the puck up the ice and being first in on the forecheck, but “Sully” is rarely, if ever, beaten in battles when defending his own end. The offensive minded rearguard was a Midwest Prep Hockey League (MPHL) All-Star last season. He will look for similar results in 2017-18. Sullivan had many offers to play junior hockey in the U.S and Canada, but he and his family decided it would be best if he returned to Gilmour for a fifth year.
“I plan to improve my GPA and test scores in order to open up more opportunities in the future,” Sullivan said.
In the hopes of improving his future, Sullivan wants to have a successful year on the ice and in the classroom. He said, “Grades are essential. Getting into a good college and being able to play hockey there is the dream. Great grades can only help.”
This year, Sullivan is focused on business-oriented classes as well as electives he finds interesting. “Running a business is about coming up with ideas and innovation that can help society in the long run. I realize that business is all about having good relationships at work and with the public. So I’m taking classes to test my interests and see if I might want to pursue a career in business,” said Sullivan.
Though Sullivan and Bauer are having positive experiences, they both agree that being a post grad is not as easy or as glamorous as it might seem. Being older warrants high expectations from teachers, peers, and coaches. Sullivan said, “Leadership is expected everywhere. You have to always give 100%, and everything you do is held in high regard.” Sullivan and Bauer both made it clear that being a post grad means setting an almost-perfect example for others since the diplomas have already been earned.
Former post grad Kyle Warren (`16) said, “For me, every day as a post grad was a grind. There are no second chances when it comes to being a PG. You have to buckle down and focus until it’s time for bed. Then you get up and buckle down again the next day.”
As a post grad myself, I can say that of course everyone wants to give 100%. It’s the heightened expectations that can make the daily effort more stressful for post grads. As a hockey player and student, my peers help me get through the tough days. Students have been friendly, welcoming, and supportive. I’m glad to be here for hockey and for school.
The Gilmour community subscribes to Charisms that play out in classrooms, dorm rooms, sports facilities, everywhere. Inclusiveness, Hospitality, Hope – Charisms don’t happen on their own. The next time you see a post grad or seventh grader, remember how much a friendly hello or thoughtful fist-bump can be. The way we treat each other always matters no matter how old you are.