LEHMAN TWP. — Adults may have been shivering and mumbling a bit about soggy shoes and chilly air, but the students running, hopping, tugging, dancing, kicking and tossing seemed oblivious to the raw weather.
Even if they weren’t always enthralled by the specific activity — “I’m not going to do that!” Nicco Diana scowled emphatically as he watched his fellow first-graders dance to some hip-hop hits — students at Lehman Jackson Elementary were clearly happy about opportunity to leave the classroom and head outside for the annual “field day.”
Not that Nicco eschewed all the options. He proudly showed off the snake tattooed on his right forearm, miming a striking serpent with hand and wrist. Fellow dance-denier Damien Brennan sported cat whiskers on his face, which seemed innocuous enough, until he pondered the need for cat claws, which quickly grew into “dino-claws!”
They may not have wanted to dance, but the duo looked wistfully for moment at the tug-of-war across the driveway, clearly a more traditionally masculine sport — except when the boys and girls were pitted against each other, “The girls keep winning,” according to physical education teacher Mike Leskowsky.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, the ladies seemed to be whupping the lads yet again, though something looked a bit off. Could be that guy with the five o’clock shadow on his face pulling for the female team.
“The girl’s were a little over-matched,” Tom Duffy said after helping them win a round. And while he was visiting, and helping out, at the event because he has two daughters attending Lehman-Jackson, he noted they weren’t on the team he just helped.
Leskowsky said about 300 students were taking 15-minute turns at each event staged throughout fields adjacent to the school. He had added a few new options, including “the rocket toss” with students hurling large foam spears, and “follow the leader aerobics.” That would be the dancing Nicco skipped.
Of course, when new competitions are introduced, old ones tend to disappear. Noticeably absent this year were two, um, animal-based events of a few years ago. The chicken toss and the cow pie relay. But don’t fret, the chickens were rubber and the cow pies were Frisbees.
Lehman Jackson may sit in a bucolic locale, but it’s not that rustic.