As the St. John’s College croquet team gears up to compete against the US Naval Academy at the 33rd annual Annapolis Cup, we interviewed former croquet team members about this unique tradition. Here is Kit Linton (A97), a former Imperial Wicket:
St. John’s College: What have you been up to since you graduated?
Kit Linton: I realized pretty quickly I wasn’t going to get too far on my philosophy skills alone and taught myself to be a web systems administrator after graduation. I got involved with a data storage consulting startup a few years later. We sold that company to IBM in 2007 and I’ve been there ever since. I’m now a strategy executive in the cloud computing division.
SJC: What is your favorite memory playing croquet while at St. John’s?
KL: Hitting a 60-foot wicket shot on Court One against Navy when I was the co-Imperial Wicket (the crowd goes wild!).
SJC: Why do Johnnies cherish the tradition of croquet?
KL: Croquet is the perfect mix of chilling out and intellectual stimulation. It’s also something we can really call our own.
SJC: How does croquet build community in Annapolis?
KL: I would say that people like to be part of something a little different. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s a very festive atmosphere!
SJC: What was your nickname on the croquet team? Do you have any notable stories?
KL: We did not really use nicknames beyond the ‘Wicket’ title. Lots of stories but I’m not sure they’re appropriate for your broad readership. I will say that Jon Andrews (co-wicket with me), Hardison Wood and I won St. John’s its first national title in 1997 at Smith College. All our practice on rough grass really paid off on the manicured courts.
SJC: Do you still play croquet?
KL: Only once since graduation until the recent alumni croquet weekend at St. John’s. Amazingly, it is like riding a bike!
SJC: What was your favorite book at St. John’s College?
KL: Unfair question—how could I possibly pick a favorite? I did just finish re-reading the Iliad and recently did a Valentine’s Day dinner seminar with some other Johnnie alumni on the Symposium. I guess I’m on a Greek kick…
SJC: What did you write your senior essay on?
KL: I explored the natural forces (gravity, electromagnetism, strong/weak nuclear), comparing what we know of them to Driesch’s entelechy, making a case for inclusion of a fifth force. Man, if I could only get back to that crazy headspace…
SJC: Will we see you at croquet this year?
KL: Sorry, signed up for an adventure race that weekend. Enjoy!
—Brady Lee (AGI14)