BSM athletes share their pregame rituals

Caroline Pauly, Staff Writer

From locker room chants to superstitious acts, BSM students do it all to mentally and physically prepare themselves to perform and compete at their best. Some have more intense rituals than others and there are a few students who operate under superstition.

It is very common for BSM teams to pray before they compete. Campus Minister Mr. Mike Jeremiah usually leads a team in prayer the day before or day of a big game or meet. “The team starts with a chapel with Mr. J, then we go eat and have yoga,” sophomore football player George Wolfe said.

Some teams have their own prayer rituals. The dance team always says The Serenity Prayer before a performance while holding hands in a circle with their right foot in tondu. The girls’ hockey team has a unique prayer before each game. “We do a freestyle prayer and then we do a Hail Mary in the locker room” girls’ hockey senior captain Sally Calengor said. The freestyle prayer allows the team to pray for a certain strength or courage specific to that game.

Not only does prayer set these teams up for success, but the work of the coaches, captains, and teammates contribute to the gameday readiness. The girls’ hockey sets up team goals to think about throughout the game. “I think it gets everybody in the right mindset and sets the atmosphere that you want to carry through the game,” Calengor said. It is crucial that everybody is on the same page to feel connected with their teammates.

For dance team, the girls have to really amp up the energy before the most intense two minutes and forty-five seconds of their life. Since jazz and kick are opposites, the team has different rituals for each dance. For kick, the girls do a lot of high energy chants in the dressing room and right before they compete. “We go right then left and say hoo-hoo-hoo in a circle, Liv Schmitz starts that,” dance team senior captain Lauren Chevalier said.

Dance team head coach, Samantha Cameranesi, brought another special ritual from her days as a Wayzata Trojet. “She gives us hand sanitizer, one drop per hand, no more no less,” Chevalier said. They choose from a wide variety of Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer that the girls will receive when they are on deck to dance.

These athletes also have individual rituals before they play or perform, some more thorough than others. “Right after school ends, I put my earbuds in and listen to the same exact five songs from Lukas Graham, and then when that ends I switch to country and keep country on until 2 hours before a home game,” Wolfe said.

“Right after school ends, I put my earbuds in and listen to the same exact five songs from Lukas Graham, and then when that ends I switch to country and keep country on until 2 hours before a home game”

— George Wolfe

Listening to a certain type of music is extremely common amongst these student-athletes. “Most people listen to some hard rap, but I like to calm my nerves with some nice classic rock,” boys’ hockey senior captain Ian Bahr said.

Chevalier takes a more dance team specific approach to the music ritual. “I like to close my eyes and put my headphones in and listen to the dance one time not moving, reviewing the dance in my head,” Chevalier said.

Both Ashlyn Virginia and Chevalier are both heavily affected by sports induced asthma that leads to yet another unconventional ritual for these Knightettes. Their coughing fits are aided by the infamous Vicks Vaporub. “We use it to calm our lungs and get ourselves in the zone,” Chevalier said.

Along with these team and personal routines, there are some superstitious rituals these members have. Wolfe must wear the same outfit to school every game day and sit next to the same person each bus ride.

“By the end of the season, I had developed a routine of having Joe Marinaro watch me for the first 10 seconds of me putting eye black on just because that’s what ‘accidentally’ happened when we beat Jefferson,” Wolfe said.

These superstitious rituals sometimes involve two people. “I ask Lauren if I’m going to forget it” dance team junior captain Jada Kosek said. “I have to promise Jada Kosek that she won’t forget it,” Chevalier said. Team, individual, and superstitious pre-game rituals help athletes get ready and focussed to compete at their very best. Finding the right mindset to settle nerves is key for athletes whether it’s music, prayer, specific clothes, or Vicks Vaporub.