by: Nick Collins
With winter sports beginning, many sports teams made adjustments. Some teams have been practicing for months in preparation for the season.
Sports teams’ traditions also play a major role for Godwin athletics. It allows for players to bond with their team and gain chemistry. From team dinners to small personal pregame traditions, the Godwin coaches shared some of their teams traditions with us.
Godwin boys basketball, led by Jake Oliver, has been preparing for months for the upcoming season. Besides working out during the off season, they also have a preseason spaghetti dinner with the girls program.
The annual dinner allows for the players to get to know each other off the court. Oliver said, “It’s an opportunity for the players to socialize and introduce themselves to parents and the Godwin community.” The event was also an opportunity for the girl’s basketball team to introduce themselves and meet with the boys team. Jim Bettis, the girl’s basketball coach, is very fond of this tradition.
“This gives both programs a chance to meet the players and parents of the other program. This year’s event was a big success,” said Bettis.
For the girl’s pregame routine, Bettis likes meeting with girls at least 45 minutes before the game. They gather for team discussion and stretching before every game.
When game time comes, around starters line up in the front and head out for warmups. “Our pregame routine is based on the same things I did as a high school player, and what some other coaches did that I have coached for,” said Bettis. Just like basketball, track also practices throughout the entire year.
The team is led by head coach Keilah Tyson. She has been building the team since she arrived at Godwin, and has introduced her team to a new version of track and field.
With track being a primarily individual sport, many go through their own premeet routines. “Before each track meet the entire team makes a circle in the middle of the arena. The captains each say some words of encouragement to their teammates followed by the coaches,” said Tyson.
The defending state champions, Godwin swim, have many traditions before and during the season. The team is large with over 80 swimmers, and makes an effort throughout the season to build relationships with one another.
The season starts around Thanksgiving, which allows for the team to have a “teamsgiving” where players and coaches get to enjoy a meal at their choice restaurant. GHS swim coach Katrina Gauntt said, “Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and connect, and that’s what we hope to foster every year this event.”
Gauntt tries to motivate the team whenever possible. The team uses a kickboard listing the five core values they follow- (Safety, Student before Athlete, Accountability, Integrity and Responsibility, Strive for improvement, Champion of sportsmanship). Each swimmer signs the kickboard, at the end of the season, the swimmer best representing those core values is awarded the kickboard.