Students and athletes join together for Halloween Havoc’s final haunt

By Emily Shultz
November 11, 2023

An exciting game of tug-of-war. Photo by Emily Shultz.
An exciting game of tug-of-war. Photo by Emily Shultz.

On October 26th, athletes and students gathered in the Dixon Center gymnasium for Halloween Havoc one final time. Students flooded the lobby and chatted with friends as they waited for the gym doors to open. Some showed their support by wearing decorative costumes and Havoc merch. 

A staff member’s child high-fives the announcer. Photo by Emily Shultz.

Havoc is Cabrini’s yearly Halloween-themed pep rally. Planned and run by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, it commemorates the school’s athletic teams by having athletes and the audience participate in various games and activities that unite the community. The event is a major highlight of  “Freak Week,” a lineup of Halloween events for students and staff. Havoc was first held in 2011.

Men’s Lacrosse Coach Tommy DeLuca helped organize the evening and was satisfied with the results. “It was good, I think for what Cabrini looks like this year.” He continued, ”Obviously, it would have been great if the whole gym was packed in tight, but we just have a smaller footprint on campus this year.”

The Havoc experience

At the start of the event, the men’s basketball team was introduced one by one. Each player took their turn running to the center of the court. The rest of the athletic teams walked across in themed costumes: cross country as Mario video game characters, rowing dressed in Villanova merch, men’s soccer as Roman citizens in full toga attire, and women’s field hockey as zombies. Other teams dressed as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon characters and the title creature from Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “The Lorax.”

Next, the games commenced. First, the tug-of-war. Audience members were invited to join alongside their athlete peers in a vigorous competition. Later, the winning team would go on to the final round. The second game was sharks and minnows which provided another opportunity for the audience to join in. Sharks and minnows is a game of elimination tag. The two teams stand parallel on opposite sides of the court. The minnows have to make it to the other side without getting tagged by the shark team.

Cabrini’s cheer team then took the stage to perform their routines; invigorating the school spirit in the gymnasium. The audience roared in support. Afterwards, athletes participated in a game of “Guess the Song.” With energy running high, a chaotic game of extreme musical chairs (not to be confused with regular musical chairs) ensued. Next, a spike ball championship played by four Waldos (the main character from the “Where’s Waldo” book series) and the final round of tug-of-war.

Finally, Halloween Havoc reached its height with the costume contest. The contestant with the loudest cheers would win. Ultimately, the women’s field hockey zombie was able to gather the most booming cheers, stomps, and claps from the crowd, devouring the competition.

Olivia Murano, a senior early childhood education major with a minor in special education, attended the event with a couple of friends. She said she enjoys Havoc because “I just think it’s a fun way to see all the athletics teams come together and have them do funny stuff and get the audience involved.”

A bittersweet end

This year, fewer people participated in the costume side of Havoc. However, one student dressed as Willy Wonka and was fairly difficult to miss: Logan DeConti, a junior education major, noted he’d been to two other Havoc events before. Prior, the event, “had the same atmosphere, but just more people.”

Students watch the Halloween Havoc games. Photo by Emily Shultz.

Coach DeLuca was pleased with Cabrini’s last Halloween Havoc event. “Everything is kind of a last time here,” he said. “So, I’m glad that it went well. I’m glad that our SAAC reps did a great job with getting it set up and running it, you know, help in any way they could.” Ethan Baker, senior digital communications and social media major, also commented, “Honestly, I’m really just gonna miss the costumes. We still have the memories so it’s fun.” 

Halloween Havoc offered a yearly reminder of how truly interconnected the Cabrini community is. The final hoorah was a bit bittersweet, but the Cavalier spirit will persevere.

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Emily Shultz

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