No matter the sport, many athletes and coaches are willing to do everything in their power to succeed. This includes a wide variety of pregame superstitions that athletes and coaches believe contribute to their team’s success.
When former head cheerleading coach Brooke Wojcik was planning on going to her first state championship competition, she ended up having to drive herself, creating a new tradition.
“I was really sick the first time we ever competed, and I drove myself,” she said. “We ended up doing very well, so I still refuse to ride the bus with the team.”
Wojcik added she used to wear the same exact outfit to every state meet, but because they did not win last year, this is a tradition she will not continue. She said she needs to find a new outfit.
As the girls tennis team sent a player to the state championship, senior captain Remy Schottenstein said the team carried a golden statue of a lion they dubbed Leo the Lion because they believe having it at their matches will bring good luck to the team.
Schottenstein explained Leo has been brought to games by tennis teams in the past, but the girls team stopped bringing him to matches a couple of years ago.
“Carrying Leo the Lion was a tradition that the girls team used to do, so we decided to bring it back last year,” she said. “It’s been a fun way to add spirit to the season.”
Ever since they brought back the tradition, the team has taken Leo to every match. Junior Gabbie Theile believes they won their match against Columbus School for Girls because of Leo. She said they must have him at every match or they will not play their best.
The boys tennis team has also picked up the tradition, and they never forget to bring Leo to their matches, Schottenstein said.
Senior captain of the boys lacrosse team Henry Hondroulis also believes that his superstition helps him play his best. He said he has been wearing the same pair of white socks on every game day throughout his high school lacrosse career.
“I wore them during my first varsity start junior year,” he explained. “It’s similar to Clark Kent versus Superman. It felt like those socks are a mask or costume I put on to play my best.”
Hondroulis said he cannot play well in a game without wearing his socks because they are his secret weapon. He said even though they are his special socks, he will still wash them no matter what. Some people with similar superstitions don’t wash that piece of clothing, but Hondroulis said he’s an exception.
He said that he loved those socks because they were the whitest pair he owned. The socks are faded now, but he still always wears them.
In baseball, before the teams take the diamond, there are usually people who maintain it by raking the dirt and drawing the lines. Making sure the lines on the diamond stay nice and straight is something that sophomore Grayson Sherman does before every game.
“It’s always been a superstition of mine: you never step on the foul line before a game, and if you do, you’re basically asking to lose,” he explained.
Sherman said he doesn’t know a baseball player who steps on the line before games because it’s considered bad luck.
“Superstitions are something that we as a team are able to bond over and we constantly remind each other of so that we can play well,” he said.