Ryan Boys, as it was known, was always a vibrant, happy, and sometimes, tumultuous and raucous place. It was a place where boys went to school and learned to become men. It was characterized by extremely high morale and a genuine sense of community.
Teams won; activities thrived; leaders emerged. Many of our coaches, some legendary, are still here. Rodgers and Hammerstein found new life on our stage, and our marching band was second to none. Our newspaper was the Raiderscope, our yearbook was The Arrow. And we were the Ryan Raiders.
Warpath Weekend was, well, just that – a spirited outpouring of pride and tradition. The culmination of the varied events was a faculty-student basketball game. The faculty was stocked with athletic young men. The students never won that game; that, also, was a tradition.
These years witnessed the emergence of WARB (the TV studio), eleven strong athletic teams, and a truly involved student government, replete with its own hilarious skits and shows in the auditorium. No one wore uniforms. But crepe-sole shoes were required and no pens were permitted. This was in deference to Brother Ed who kept the school absolutely spotless.
Battles of the Bands taxed our hearing, while pep rallies in the auditorium, along with dress-down days often preceded our biggest games. Athletes came onstage in sweaters bearing varsity letters. And one of our kids got into Harvard.
We had Diocesan Scholars, the Swenson Skill Center program, graduation in the auditorium, and Saint Francis Day liturgies featuring Father Ira’s memorable sermons. We had bicycle racks, homeroom after second period, and a nationally televised hostage crisis. Students were dismissed after morning performances of school shows, and young men often settled their differences with oversized boxing gloves in the gym. (Some did it elsewhere.) Everyone played intramurals. Retreats were solemn affairs.
But, ultimately, Ryan Boys was the people: that endless march of footsteps down hallways.