By Joe Scarriot ‘23

On Dec. 3, the Class of 2027 took the first step into becoming Crusaders by taking the entrance exam. All Chicago Archdiocese high schools host entrance exams, and only being able to choose one school to test at can be stressful. I remember the months leading up to the entrance exam like it was yesterday.

Before shadowing Brother Rice, I shadowed at all of the other schools, familiarizing myself with the climate of each school. Within the first two periods of shadowing at Brother Rice, I wanted to be a Crusader. The climate at Brother Rice was unmatched compared to every other school.

The classrooms were filled with an energy like no other. Students just acted as if they were out with friends; yet, they were still learning. The teachers created a competitive environment for the students. Through this environment, teachers were able to implant a hard work ethic into all of their students. Most importantly, I felt a brotherhood at Brother Rice that no other school had to offer.

I saw this through my dad and his friends who graduated in 1991. All of them went down different paths after high school. However, they still hang out today just like the good old days on 99th and Pulaski. A brotherhood was formed over those four years and remains intact 30 years later.

I began to attend Rice games after my shadow day, and I would always notice a section filled with maroon and orange. The chants, passion, and love for their school never failed to amaze me, and I wanted to be part of it. I saw something bigger than just a school – a brotherhood.

The day of the entrance exam, I was excited. What kind of eighth grade boy is excited to take a standardized test on a Saturday at 8 a.m.? I was that kid! All I wanted was to take that first step into becoming a Crusader.

Four years later, I have loved every minute of attending Brother Rice. Everything I observed at games and on shadow days is all real. There is a brotherhood like no other at Brother Rice.

As my four years in the classroom come to an end, I realize that I am a Crusader for life. I have formed a brotherhood not only with my classmates, but with the Brother Rice community. 99th and Pulaski will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will forever bleed maroon and orange.