Surprising Sports Superstitions


Senior Karl Vogelsang knocks down a free throw in the rival Woodgrove vs Loudoun Valley game. (Provided by Action Jackson Photos).

Various Woodgrove athletes share their pregame rituals that are student led and directed which shows what makes their individual team special.


Woodgrove Senior Hunter Pavolic shared the Woodgrove football team’s pregame traditions and their origins. They start by saying Philippians verse 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When asked where the rituals got their origins, Pavolic said, “Traditions started with the past leaders. [They] would always pray over the team, would always hype us up and say something inspirational before we go out.” He added it’s a bonding experience for the whole team and to “get everyone’s mind right before going out to the field.”


Woodgrove Junior Michelle Chatfield plays for the volleyball team, and she talked about how the team will say a cheer before playing to “get us hyped.” Chatfield said, “It’s been a tradition since before I was here, and it’s special because it’s unique to us. Occasionally we’d do a dance circle too, just for fun to get everyone excited.”


Boys Basketball player, Senior Karl Vogelsang, says before home games they will have a team dinner at a team member’s house. “This has been a thing for as long as I know. I feel like it’s special by bringing the team closer together and being able to bond together.” 


The Girls Basketball team has their own unique pregame traditions. Senior Ashley Steadman states, “Our pregame rituals include a team chant where we are all clapping, banging on the lockers, and yelling our cheer.” These rituals have been going on for as long as Steadman has been a part of the team. “We weren’t able to do it last year since we didn’t have the locker rooms to get ready in. It’ll be especially special this year since it’s everyone’s first year back together,” Steadman adds. 


The baseball team takes part in rituals as well. Senior Robert Brenneman states, “We will always have country music playing prior to home games. This gets everyone into a great mood and ready to play with the boys, even if they are having a bad day. We also jog out to center field as a team every single game and have one person ram against the fence before we all head back to the foul line.” This was an important part in their pregame routine and had significance in their success last season. Brenneman includes, “The ramming against the fence ritual started when Christian Hile did it on Day 1 of the 2021 season. He then did it every single game all the way into the State Championship game at home.”


The softball team had their own rituals as well. Junior Annika Rohs states, “We all talk together before the game and get ready together. There is music playing in the press box that we all get hyped up to.” This is a key to success for their games. Rohs adds, “Then before the game begins we all line up in order, depending on our positions, and high five each other as we come out. This brings the team together and gets us ready for gametime.”