Traditions and celebrations play a large role in team bonds when it comes to playing together. Aragon’s football and basketball teams have their own traditions that help bring athletes together off the court and field, so that they can perform well on game days. Over-the-top celebrations are not endorsed by any sports leagues, and Aragon student-athletes have done well in keeping their celebrations short and sweet on the field. But, behind the scenes of the football and basketball teams, traditions and celebrations have built the foundation for team coordination.
Junior linebacker Michael Kilcullen discusses the football team’s pregame rituals and small traditions.
“I know a lot of guys have a little pregame thing they do, like a handshake or a song they always listen to,” he said. “[Senior linebacker] Dante Pacini and I started doing this little handshake before games and it just sort of stuck after we kept winning.”
Kilcullen states that the team has a tradition they follow after winning as well.
“Everyone usually stays in the locker room to hang out and play music to celebrate,” he said. “It’s a long season, and especially after some of our wins against really difficult teams, celebrating really helped take some stress off.”
The girls and boys basketball teams also partake in team traditions and celebrations.
Senior forward Michael Collum explains his team’s tradition of sharing dinner once a week.
“Every Thursday after practice, we would have a team dinner and all just talk and bond,” he said. “I think it helped us because we would get closer as a team and then be able to perform better during games, especially because Thursday nights were the nights before the quads.”
The girls basketball team has similar traditions. After Friday night quads, the team goes out to dinner, usually to BJ’s Restaurant or Red Robin.
“We’re already so close as a team, so the dinners are always loud, friendly and fun,” said junior point guard Kathryn Cheong. “Even when we lose, simply being together helps all of us feel better and move on from the loss. I know that when I graduate next year and look back on high school, those memories will definitely be ones that I will remember.”
Additionally, before every game, the cheer team makes a circle to say encouraging words.
“We turn around and say it as an expression of ‘We’ll do this, we got this, and we’re all in this together,’” said senior Soleia Sano.
In addition to that, some cheerleaders also pray before performances, which the team believes also helps bring the team together.
“[It] emphasizes a bond because we’re all linked together, not just physically but also emotionally,” said senior Eliana Grant. “It really gives us a breathing time before we perform and get our nerves out.”
Celebrations and traditions can happen anytime. For example, the boys water polo team recently developed a tradition of circling up in the middle of the pool before the game.
“The [cheer] we do in the middle of the pool, we actually came up with that this year,” said junior Andre Gu. “We’ve always done this before performances, and this is not even like a tradition, it’s like, this is what’s going to happen. We’re gonna lose the game if we don’t do [our chant].”
Having traditions and celebrating as a team helps bring teammates together and improves their chemistry both on and off the field.
Additional reporting by Jung Haye To