Team Traditions: Inside the Activities that Make Athletes Closer

Members of the boys water polo and girls golf teams reveal the behind the scenes of their sports and why they enjoy playing it so much.

The boys water polo and girls golf teams have become very close over the course of the season, and that can be attributed to their bonding activities throughout the season.

The girls golf team keeps traditions to stay close and get to know each other.

“We have team bonding every year where we usually go to someone’s house and eat dinner, roast marshmallows on a bonfire and dance a lot,” sophomore Jennifer Liu said.

Throughout the season, many of the girls have gotten to know each other.

“I feel like every person on our golf team has their own personality, which I wouldn’t find in any other team,” Liu said. “[We] make a lot of amazing memories.”

Funny stories and memories are made during some tournaments, which keep the games light-hearted.

“During a tournament, there were two huge birds that were directly in front of me and would not move no matter what,” Liu said. “Not even when one of the coaches drove toward them with his golf cart and pretended he was going to hit them.”

For the boy’s water polo team, the boys have an inside joke they idolize a state champion that they don’t know, who is part of the team in their hearts.

“Should I just leak all the secrets of the water polo team?” sophomore Jacob Vainburg said. “So there’s this dude named Chris Johnson; he’s in one of the pictures [in] the sports hallway, and he’s our team mascot now. He is like a team spirit. We rep Chris Johnson.”

They don’t know how the Chris Johnson fascination came to be, they just felt a connection.

“Chris Johnson in spirit is part of our team,” Vainburg said. “Everything we do is dedicated to Chris Johnson—he’s like a god in a way.”

Each team can relate to each other because food plays a big factor in their bonding. After some meets they have a team dinner. For those injured, the members like to keep the atmosphere high- spirited.

Out of the pool, the water polo team takes their fun to the streets.

“If there’s someone injured on the team, we make fun of them,” Vainburg said. “[Senior] Nick Zessces broke his leg while playing basketball, so we had to hall him around during the homecoming parade and make fun of him for being a cripple.”

The team can be set apart from most teams here because they have Athens students on the team as well. Members on the team enjoy the other school’s company because it brings a whole new environment. The boys realize this bonding creates a positive mood that adds to the team being positive as a whole.

“It is just a really fun team,” Zessces said. “We have so many inside jokes nobody else would be able to understand.”