On October 11, Xavier “Zz” Salvador ’14 returned to Deerfield Academy not just as an alumnus, but also as a new postgraduate member of the Hotchkiss varsity soccer team, gearing up for a match against his former team. Despite excellent play by both teams, Hotchkiss proved to be a formidable opponent, winning 2-0.
During the 2013-14 school year, Salvador and Stephen Baisch ’14 were co-captains of the Deerfield varsity soccer team. Salvador later decided to attend Hotchkiss as a PG to round out his experience before college. Besides training for soccer, he is also taking rigorous courses and plans to travel internationally whenever he gets the chance.
Salvador also intends to continue pursuing another one of his interests: Ultimate Frisbee. At Hotchkiss, he said, “Ultimate [Frisbee] has the status of a varsity [sport]!”
When questioned about the attitude towards athletics at Hotchkiss, Salvador responded, “[Hotchkiss has] devoted athletes who put tremendous hours into their sport.” Furthermore, “whether it’s varsity or thirds, [players and coaches] show passion, strong work ethic, and support for the people around them.” In this regard, Salvador believes Hotchkiss is very similar to Deerfield.
Salvador expressed his bittersweet sentiments over the match between Deerfield and Hotchkiss: “[Playing] against my old team [has] made me realize the best qualities of [the Academy] that I [miss]. It’s sometimes difficult to attend a place that you think is in many ways the same, but actually can be entirely different.”
One thing Salvador misses most is the community at Deerfield: “Everyone [acknowledges] you, with no regard for gender or age, faculty or staff.”
According to Salvador, sit-down meals were an invaluable and indispensable component of his DA experience: they taught him how to conduct himself and converse with a random group of individuals. At Hotchkiss, the dining hall is divided by grades, which in Salvador’s opinion can “hurt the mix of the student body.”
In addition to a school-wide assembly on Mondays and Fridays, members of the community must also attend “Chapel” once a week. Other differences include Saturday classes, dorms with mixed grades and the lack of parietals.