“We’re bringing home the bacon!” coach Paula Tessein exclaimed as the Knights Field Hockey team completed a rout of the Pirates. The 3-0 triumph was sweet and savory, bringing home tangy bragging rights and returning a succulent pig. Buthis pork chop wasn’t the team’s victory meal: it was a ceramic souvenir from a stupendous success.
The tradition of the WW-P field hockey pig began the year after the WW-P High School split into two institutions. Once teammates, the North and South field hockey players became nemeses, creating a meaty rivalry between the squads. As a prank, one of the North field hockey mothers went out and stole the pig from the lawn of a South parent. To add to the shenanigans, the Knights dressed the pig up in North attire and set it as a prize for the evening’s victor.
Fast forward a decade, and the treasured pig still serves as the centerpiece of theNorth-South rivalry. “The pig is the symbol of our rivalry and who the best team in WW-P truly is that season,” senior captain Christina Hayduchok said. The pig certainly brings emotion into the contest—players shed tears, embrace in delight, or sulk with anger depending on the outcome of this crucial game. After ceremonially transferring the pig to their wagon, the field hockey girls plan to continue the ritual by painting the ornament blue and silver and displaying it in the team locker room. “The pig is something that you physically feel awarded with, like a trophy,” senior Kylie Mulhall said.
The satisfying win might symbolize a watershed moment in the rivalry. Through ten games, the Knights have posted a 5-4-1 record, while South sits at a dismal 1-9. After reclaiming the pig for the first time in three seasons, the North field hockey team hopes to keep the pig in North’s quarters for years to come. “We might leave the ears or hooves of it green to remind us that the pig once belonged to South, and that it’s never, ever going back there,” senior captain Leigh Calotta said. “It feels good and right that the pig is with us again—he’s part of our team!”