The Illegal Turtle Races Here at Xavier High School


By Aidan Pesce, Assistant Editor

It has recently come to light that Xavier High School in Middletown, CT, is under investigation for underhanded activities and dealings. Several members of the faculty have been taken in for questioning, but the police have not yet released a statement.

Witnesses reported seeing police enter Xavier at 11:23 AM on March 1st, 2022. “I was in the middle of a calculus test,” senior Aidan Pesce told The Kestrel, “when seven or so cop cars pulled out in the front of the building. The whole class just watched in shock as the police entered Xavier. A few minutes later, they walked out with Mr. St. George, Mr. Donahue, Mr. Eustais, Mr. Cerreta, and Dr. D, all in handcuffs.”

Several other witnesses confirmed Pesce’s account of the story. “It was really frightening,” senior Owen Pestka agreed. “We were all huddled in the corner, wondering what was going on. We could hear shouting in the hallway, something about ‘illegal turtle races.’ It made no sense, but sure enough, outside the window, I saw a police officer escorting a giant turtle out of the building. It had to have been at least as big as the freshmen.”

Reports of turtles being taken from Xavier High School have been confirmed. Twenty-three turtles were removed from the premises of the school yesterday, including three Galapagos turtles, six snapping turtles, and several other species that have yet to be identified. Nine sea turtles were also discovered in the swimming pool in the basement, but they have not yet been extracted due to difficulties transporting them to a new home.

Furthermore, it has also been confirmed that there is a floor under the basement. Previously used as a dungeon, it has been repurposed to house the turtles, to store their food, and to host turtle races. There are multiple tracks of differing lengths, with bleachers and concession stands spread throughout the space. On the wall, next to the betting area, are photos of the record holders, as well as a list of the event records:

In the 10m race, TJ Rykey crawled a speedy 6.87 seconds. In the 25m, Francine Xavier has an impressive 17.29. Big T III (the most famous of Xavier’s Galapagos turtles) inched his way to victory in the 100m with a 1:32.92. Holding the aquatic records in the 30m and the 60m is Shelly, who raced a 19.20 and a 49.11 respectively.

Now that these legendary accomplishments have been publicized, all the world will remember these turtles and honor their legacy. However, out of concern that the races are “illegal” and “unethical,” authorities have decided to shut down the turtle racing program at Xavier High School, arresting several members of the faculty in the process and refusing to comment on the situation. Fortunately, a former Xavier teacher, Brother Philip, was able to provide The Kestrel with information on the races.

“Last year,” the religion teacher told The Kestrel, “I discovered the turtle racing operation here at Xavier High School. Every Wednesday night, beginning at 10:00 PM, hundreds of people flocked to the school in the dark hours to watch the competition. Drug dealers, gangsters, and eccentric zoologists all, to use a common expression, “packed the barn,” paying a pricy admission fee to spectate. Furthermore, several teachers and members of the administration were in on the scheme, and they used the money the school collected to line their own pockets.”

“When I went to confront the teachers who were in on the scheme, I was unceremoniously kidnapped. They told the public my visa had expired, but in reality, they forced me to take care of the turtles. I was a prisoner living in the dark for months, with no company but the turtles. During my time as a captive, I came to respect the bravery and strength of the turtles. I learned they were smart creatures, and I relied on them to deliver a message to the outside world. It was a complex plan, but together, we managed to pass along a message to the authorities. Thankfully, they received my message and conducted a raid on Xavier, rescuing me and the turtles.”

As evidenced by Brother Philip’s confession, the turtle races are serious business. Fortunately, the turtles are being relocated to a safe place where they can race on their own accord, not for the amusement of others. It is still unclear what will happen to the complicit faculty members, but The Kestrel will continue to keep concerned citizens apprised of the situation.