Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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Stickball evolves as unique tradition

For many students, stickball has been a memorable part of their high school experience. 
Senior+Harry+Midgette+swings+his+stick+to+hit+the+tennis+ball+during+a+stickball+game+at+C+lunch+on+June+1st.
Mark Ball ’26
Senior Harry Midgette swings his stick to hit the tennis ball during a stickball game at C lunch on June 1st.

To many in the Haven community, including senior Jack Santee, stickball is more than just a game. 

“My mood for the day is very dependent on the outcome,” Santee said. 

As a lunchtime routine for Haven students, stickball is like baseball with some changes. There are usually four innings each lunch period. Scavenged sticks are used in place of traditional baseball bats, and a tennis ball is used in place of a baseball. The sticks often get lost or broken and the new and different sticks constantly change the game. 

Stickball games have been part of nearly every lunch block this spring that weather permits. According to senior Jake Goodwin, many unique rules have been added and evolved. 

“We banned shirt catching. It’s really easy to just open your shirt and catch it. If it goes foul into the bushes and it goes far enough to the point where you can’t grab it, you’re out,” Goodwin said. 

“Some weeks, people hit home runs all the time. Some weeks, it’s a defensive battle,” Santee said. “We’ve been losing a lot this week. I’ve been kind of frustrated but when we win, it’s a great feeling. The kids on the other team, I always talk trash to them.”

Goodwin believes stickball is a great way to end senior year. He always looks forward to it and does more with the game than just playing—he also reviews the statistics. “We have a Google Sheet full of everyone’s batting averages and errors and all,” he said. 

He also used stickball as inspiration for a photography project. 

“I wanted to make sports cards of stickball. And I went down and took pictures, either as we were playing or when people were batting because I thought that looked the best,” he said. 

Goodwin’s favorite memory of playing stickball is not about the game itself. It involves a slip-up by one of his peers. 

“Someone hit it really far and it was all the way to the bleachers at the tennis courts and they fell onto the bleachers backing up,” he said. 

For Goodwin, college stickball could never be the same as the experience at Strath Haven High School. 

“The scenarios are just too perfect. I don’t know if it’s something that can happen anywhere else because it’s just perfect for 40-minute lunch with the bases already set,” Goodwin said.

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About the Contributor
Mark Ball '26
Mark Ball '26, Reporter
Mark Ball plays soccer and tennis for Strath Haven. He also participates in chorus and was in the Strath Haven musical Grease.
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