Pregame rituals


Elena Brown

Walnut Hills Eagles lining up to start the game on the 50 yard line. Preparing themselves and locking into the game against Anderson.

Makenzie Ellison

Superstitious traditions and rituals have been in sports since the beginning of time, and WHHS football players are no exception. Rituals and routines bring reassurance, comfort and routine to a busy schedule. These pre-game traditions unify players with the past and provide them with connections to WHHS football memories. 

SENIOR Murphy Tilk, a defensive lineman, shared that he has a personal pre-game ritual that he uses to help him get focused for a game.

“Listening to music, trying to tune out everything else, you have to start preparing the day before,” Tilk said.

Students, coaches and athletic trainers have different ways of preparing for a football game, intending to do their best to make the game thrive. Every WHHS football player has a different routine before each game that is unique to them. 

Will Rivers, ‘26, quarterback, gave a mental technique he uses to prepare for a game.

“I like to just think, we’re not going to lose,” Rivers said. 

Pre-game traditions aren’t always practiced by one’s self. Some student-athletes include their family, like Kingston Fall, ‘27.

Fall, who is a linebacker, practices a pre-game tradition with his younger sister.

“I do my handshake with my sister for luck,” Fall said.

Student-athletes involve their family and friends, yet there is one more important part of pre-game during WHHS football games the preparation of  WHHS’ athletic trainers and directors. 

The athletic trainers and directors are the backbone of every player. Over time, they inherit traditions and rituals that they perform before each game. 

Former WHHS Athletic Director, Steve Ellison, performs a few pre-game rituals.

“Most of the work AD’s do happens before the gates open. I make sure the other team can make it, get the referees paid and accounted for, make sure there’s someone to keep track of the clock and then let the game run itself,” Ellison said.