Superstitious plays

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

Superstitions are like opinions, everyone has one. They range from the mild, when at South Carolina, coaching legend Lou Holtz would have a vanilla milkshake before each game – to the extreme – Chicago Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra gets dressed the same way every day, makes sure to step on each dugout step with both feet, and tugs at his batting gloves and taps his toes during each at-bat. Even on the local level, sporting superstitions vary.

At Dallas County High School, first year head coach Eric Hiott says his pre-game superstitions starts nearly a full day before the whistle blows on Friday night football.

Hiott’s not the only one with rituals and superstitions, at rival Southside High School, coach Christopher Raymond catches himself looking at his watch on game days.

This weekend, Raymond and his Panthers will be on the road traveling a little over three hours to face the regional champion Cleburne County Tigers.

Time is also an issue to Art Sullivan, coach of the Lowndes Academy Rebels.

While the Rebels may not be an overtly superstitious group, they have become creatures of habit.

The Rebs will be at home during week one of the playoffs against the Cornerstone Christian Chargers.

According to Sullivan, the only thing on the itinerary that changes from week to week is what time the squad leaves from campus.

At Maplesville High School though, Coach Brent Hubbert goes one step further and makes sure that they get to the field, whether it be at home or on the road, at the same time each week.

Hubbert also said that he and his coaches give each other a hard time because they find themselves wearing the same shoes to each game.

The Red Devils will be on the road during the first week of the playoffs, traveling to Sweet Water High School.

Rick Jackson and his Meadowview Trojans will also be on the road during the first round of the playoffs. He says that his program isn’t superstitious about things, but they do tend to find themselves &8220;staying in their environment.&8221;

Jackson does two things that could be borderline superstitious.

The Meadowview Skipper makes it a point to eat the pre-game meal with his seniors and then he makes it a point to be by himself after getting the kids on the team squared away.

Collegiate athletes are probably the most superstitious around.

Crimson Tide signal caller Brodie Croyle wears a red and white string around his left wrist. The senior calls it his good luck charm.

According to Croyle, he had worn a rubber band on his wrist since the eighth grade with it snapping only two times before a game. As a result, the quarterback found himself with injuries, torn knee ligaments.

While speaking to a group of fifth graders, one of the females in the assembly provided the Crimson Tide quarterback with the red and white bracelet that he currently wears.