2023 Prom strikes out for students in sports

School tradition continues, date conflict plagues athletes


Prom graphic of theme, ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, located on the front page of the Prom packet. (photo courtesy of Class of 2023 Board).

Catherine Crousore, Reporter

Lights glittering low. Music blasting through the ballroom. Elegance radiating from the shimmering fabrics all around. Organized by the 2023 Class Board, LT hosted the annual Prom on May 18 in the Navy Pier Aon Grand Ballroom. The event included festivities such as food, dancing, and a post-dance boat ride along the downtown Chicago lakeshore to end the night. 

“Freshman through junior year, we fundraise for Prom, and senior year we start to plan,” class board president Maddie Grayson ‘23 said. “[Class Board] basically has the freedom to do food, music, and the DJ. Most of the planning is the fine details on our end. It’s like [planning] a wedding and it’s super fun.” 

Due to the school year’s scheduling, Prom collided with IHSA State competitions for in-season sports teams who may qualify. Some teams that could be affected are baseball, water polo, and track and field.

“It definitely is a bummer,” girls varsity water polo player Ava Wright ‘23 said. “It’s taking our two favorite parts of the year, State and Prom, and combining them so we don’t get the full experience of both which is definitely frustrating.” 

This ongoing conflict has been a topic of frustration not only this year, but a recurring issue that continues to cause problems for students each year, Director of Student Activities Peter Geddeis said. 

“With athletics, there isn’t a whole lot we can do so that it wouldn’t be an inconvenience for at least one sport,” Geddeis said. “It’s unavoidable, so we do our best to accommodate those students.”

In years previous, some adjustments consisted of changing in the locker rooms, taking an activity bus swiftly after returning from State matches, and even taking buses home early from the dance in order to work around early scheduled games the next morning, he said.

“We always assume that the teams qualify for State,” Geddeis said. “When that happens, then all of the administrative stakeholders will sit down and we’ll say, ‘Okay, what do we need to do to make sure our students experience this?’ because we want them to have that experience of both.” 

This year, Prom took place on a Thursday, as it was the usual day of the week predating COVID-19 that the dance happened on, he said. 

“For the 14 years prior to last year, Prom has always been on the Thursday before graduation,” Geddeis said. “Last year we did it on a Sunday because the Thursday date was unavailable. It wouldn’t have worked with our end of year schedule.” 

The administration hoped that with this year’s schedule and accommodations offered as needed, more students will have been able to make it to Prom, he said. 

“Seeing the smiles of all of the people when arriving at Prom, for me, is the most rewarding thing out of all of this,” Geddeis said. “It’s super unique to have our event in such an iconic location in Chicago for the seniors.”