Waukee Fall Traditions
November 1, 2016
Waukee Athletics excels continually over the years and succeeds consistently, and this 2016 fall sports season proves to be no different. Waukee athletes put in hours of hard work throughout the on and off seasons, however this is not the only thing that contributes to their accomplishments. Each team has their own way of preparing for and celebrating every meet, match or game. As the fall season comes to a close, team leaders recall their favorite fall traditions. From giving gifts to singing songs, the teams reminisce on all the fun that took place throughout the exciting season, making success that much sweeter.
Waukee Football is one of the top performing sports in the school. After the Warriors dominated the final regular season game on October 21st, they earned themselves the number one spot in their district. The players’ effort and dedication are vital to their progress, but the true key to the team’s success is how well they work together as a unit. The WHS football team builds this strong bond through traditions.
Tyler Groathouse, one of the Waukee Football team’s captains, stated that one of his favorite traditions is the team meals. “It helps build chemistry with the guys you’re working with. Building the chemistry makes you want to play well for each other… you don’t want to let your team down.”
Strong ties are invaluable in any team sport, and the Football team strives to grow the relationships between players in many ways, including the optional devotional, a team prayer, before the games. “It’s fun to share that brotherhood with the guys,” stated Groathouse.
As the girls’ swim season comes to a close, swimmers look back on all traditions they continued this year and the new traditions they created. Before an important invite or dual, their practice usually consists of relay exchanges and working on starts.
“Before every meet, we have a team meeting [where we go] over team goals for the meet,” stated sophomore Emily Baeth. This is a common tradition for many sports teams, however the swim girls end their meeting with a unique twist.
“[Before the meet] we sing ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ and then parade out to the pool. Also, we do team cheers that the seniors lead. Then we go out and swim our best,” explained Baeth. This makes for strong ties between swimmers and gets each girl pumped to race.
Girls’ Cross Country is known for their many traditions, which contribute to their success at meets. The girls do a lot of activities that bring them all together to make a stronger team. Cross country may seem like an individual sport since only the top five athletes from each team score, but the rest of the runners still influence the score, so everyone is equal in importance. However, this stigma inspires the Cross Country girls to get more involved in each other’s lives, resulting in the multitude of traditions they follow.
“At the beginning of the season we draw names, and the girl [whose name] we get is our ‘secret sister.’ We buy gifts for them every meet throughout the season, and at the end we have a reveal,” said junior Karson Foley.
Secret sister gifts contain pre/post-meet snacks and drinks, a note from your secret sister and small items such as chapstick or hair ties. “We have team dinners which are fun. We also set goals and give each other helpful tips on how to run the course for the next day,” added Foley. These little traditions help the girls stay motivated so they can win big.
Waukee Varsity Cheerleading is one of the best teams in the state, and this year is no different. Just like all the sports of Waukee, Cheerleading has many fun and emotional traditions. Sophomore Meredith Wood states that one of her favorites is the heartwarming moment the cheer team shares the night before state, where they stand across from one another and tell the person across from them why they are proud of each other. “Everyone cries,” Wood laughed.
The team keeps a strong bond from the seniors all the way down to the freshman. They manage this through a gift exchange from the seniors to the freshmen. “Last year they gave us framed letters,” Wood explained.
Wood Added, “Before a full-out (a full run through of the routine with all the stunts included), we stand in a circle and give each other advice. Then we put our hands together and yell FBGT… It’s an inside joke.” The longstanding traditions don’t seem to be fading anytime soon as Meredith explained that she even remembers her sister, now in college, participated in the same customs. The team may change, but the strong traditions always last.