Well, the season is now more than halfway over, and school is definitely in full throttle. Needless to say, we have all been a bit busy! Although we have been keeping busy, soccer does not let up, and everything moves on as normal, including our traditions.
Our team is full of wonderful traditions! Since I got here my freshman year we have done a lot of the same things and some traditions have even been added.
Mondays are usually pretty drab. It is the beginning of a new week, you might have a test (I have one this Monday in Biology…), and you start thinking of all the things you should have done over the weekend. Our Mondays at soccer practice usually start off with some F.U.N.! The team has about 15 minutes to play whatever game we want. We might play log-tag, soccer tennis, or the juggle gate game (a game where you try to do certain juggling combinations in four different boxes to get a point for your team). Fun-day Monday is always a good way to start the week with some laughing and a light warmup!
Sammy already told you about wives, but I would just like to add one thing. My FAMILY is the best! Some might say that we are the hoarding family, but I think we just have so much love to go around that we want to share it with a lot of people. I was married to Kendall Brown when I was a freshman, my sophomore year there was an odd number so we took a “love child,” Sarah Melhorn. My junior year, Sarah got married to Reva and they took a “love child,” Candice Partee, who left Valpo after one semester. This year, Sarah took another “love child,” (my grand”love”child) Rachel Hoaglin. So…although Kendall and Reva are no longer playing soccer, they are both still on campus! So our family is still as big and wonderful as ever! Yeah… we do have a confusing family, but I love it!
Since I can remember we have had something we call the HAHA shirt. It usually takes a while to get one made, but the HAHA shirt is a crazy colored shirt with crazy decorations. If someone does something worthy enough (that is very funny) they get the shirt to wear to practice. Before they wear it they have to write what they did on the shirt. One such worthy event to earn the HAHA shirt is when Erin Suckling didn’t know how to spell Bananas, or when people (aka Dana McGlone or Janine Lytle) get snipered in the middle of a game. We are just trying to add a little fun to our lives!
This year we have added a new tradition! Every preseason the football team makes the freshmen learn the fight song and sing it at meals. We have always joked that we were going to do that to the freshmen and say we have done it forever. Well this year, we did it. We made the freshmen learn the fight song and they had to sing it for us once in the union at lunch. After we beat IUPUI, someone yelled “Freshmen, Fight song!” Well, they don’t know it that well and they were being shy, so I said, “Why don’t we all sing it!” So there began a new tradition. After every win, we have sung the fight song in the locker room! Yeah, for school spirit!
You have all heard about the Crusader Cup in earlier blogs! What a tradition!
Circle before game:
Before every game we circle up as a team. In this circle we go around and each say one thing that we are going to focus on during the game. Most people just think of things that they are feeling during that day but some people have certain things they say every game. Lori Johnson, for example, always said “Determination.” This year, Rachel Hoaglin has started making “Faith” her word. Some other things that have been said are “WIN”, “First Touch”, or “Score.” There has been many things said over the years, and each one is supposed to help us get focused and pumped up for the game!
If you have ever been to a game you might have wondered what we say in our huddle right before each half starts. Well, that would be “HOO-HAA!” I am not sure when this tradition started…Most likely way before my time, but we say “HOO-HAA” because it is part of our fight song. I think it is something very special for us because, well…let’s just say “HOO-HAA” is a very unique part of our fight song and what we are about!
“Three Claps” is something that again started before my time. I have heard that it comes from a film that we used to watch as a team called “FISH!” The film is about workers at a fish market who really disliked their job until they started making the most of it! They had four different philosophies, “Play”, “Make Their Day”, “Be there”, and “Choose your attitude.” For us, “Three Claps” is a part of “Make their Day.” If you think someone does something great you can say “Three Claps for ____. 1-2-3.” It is always great to be recognized for something you do! That is why we do “Three Claps for our fans” after every game. We wouldn’t be who we are today without the support of our fans! You are great!
She’s Got Game:
She’s Got Game has also been around for my whole career. After every game a player is picked for She’s Got Game. This is essentially a “player of the game” award. For our first Friday and Sunday game each year nominations are taken and the player is chosen by the team for She’s Got Game. After that every Friday, the player who had it the previous Friday picks for that game, and the same is true for Sunday. Again, this is just a way to show some recognition to players who played a great game.
Traditions are amazing things that everyone who goes through the program can share. It is great to have alumni come back and learn some of our new traditions and see the old ones still shining bright.
I wasn’t expecting this to be so long, but…it turns out we have more traditions than I was anticipating!
Big game Sunday! UWM at home! Hope to see you there!