Deer Valley Unified SD

Raising Arizona Kids

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Irish students bring their game to Chandler

Seton Catholic Preparatory High School Chandler

Seton Catholic Preparatory High School senior Alycia Morse hits the hurling ball into the goal. Alycia is one of 11 Seton students going to Sacred Heart Secondary School for Girls in Tullamore, Ireland, as part of a cultural exchange. Sacred Heart students Lauren Keenahan at far left and Stephanie Brady, far right. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

Students at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler welcomed 12 students from Sacred Heart Secondary School for Girls in Tullamore, Ireland for a week of classes, outings to attractions like Rawhide and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Seton Catholic High School Chandler Sacred Heart Tullamore

Sacred Heart student Lauren Keenahan prepares to connect with the ball. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

Tullamore and Chandler are sister cities.

The Irish students brought their hurling skills. The 3,000-year-old Gaelic sport of hurling is like a combination of hockey and baseball. It’s a very fast game, with a lot of running and smacking a ball the length of the field with a hurley, which looks like a wooden axe. The girls’ version of the sport is called camogie.

Hurling has a cross bar, like a football goal, and a net, like a soccer goal. Score in the net, past the goalie, it’s three points. Over the crossbar, it’s just one point.

Seton students did their best to hit the ball with the hurley. It’s not as easy as the Sacred Heart girls made it look. There were some success but quite a few complete misses. The bat is flat, so its position in relation to the ball must be just so.

A bunch of Seton football players spent quite a bit of time perfecting their batting skills and after a while succeeded in connecting with the ball, which is a similar size and density to a baseball.

In June, 11 lucky Seton girls will get to go visit their new friends at Sacred Heart in Tullamore for 10 days, attending classes and learning about Ireland.

Prior to the exchange program, the two schools created a cookbook with many different recipes from Seton and Sacred Heart families.

Seton Catholic High School Chandler

Seton senior David Fugger swings, but misses the ball in one of his first attempts at the sport of hurling. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

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Daniel Friedman

Daniel Friedman is a staff writer and photographer for RAISING ARIZONA KIDS magazine.

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