Rituals and traditions create a spirited atmosphere and make students’ experiences unique to McNick. These rituals help physically and mentally prepare the athlete and without these rituals, many might feel that they would not be able to perform to their best abilities.
“Before a game, I would always have to straighten my hair and wear it down during the school day. I would always wear my Kairos Cross, my pink, black, and white headband, and sliders,” Martella said. Martella said she does this because it was something that helped the season run smoothly. She also stated that her teammates were her family and spending time with them before the games helped make it worthwhile and allowed her to cherish her time as a soccer player.
The Men’s Bowling Team always forms a circle while Coach Combs or a senior gives a pep talk. “After putting all our hands into the center, we pick someone to yell ‘Rockets on 3. 1…2…3… ROCKETS’,” sophomore Noah Pasco said.
Irish dancer and senior Emma McDermott’s pregame ritual involves music and prayer. “Before I go to dance on stage, I listen to Eminem and Disney songs to get pumped up, and I say an Irish blessing,” McDermott said. The Irish blessing McDermott prays is known as “An Old Irish Blessing.”
Head Cross Country Coach Kyle Jepson said, “The biggest thing we do in Cross Country is the pasta parties. They’re legendary.”
Before Cross Country meets, a senior or junior hosts a pasta party. The host provides the pasta and two other families bring drinks and salad. In the previous years, every runner would attend, but this past season, not as many runners would show up.
Right before the Dance Team takes the floor, the ladies stand in a circle, cross arms, and pray the Hail Mary.
“[After the Hail Mary] we have a team pep talk and end it with a cheer – ooooooooo Rock-ettes,” Head Coach Kelly Martin said.
Before every football game, the senior players along with some coaches have a team dinner together. If the men win their game, they pray, run up the stairs of the convent, count out the score of the game, and sing Boom-Chicka-Boom.
“We have a wall with all of our rival teams’ names stuck to it. The offense team flips the names, and the defense sticks an ‘M’ on the name if we win the game,” senior Alec Marcum said.
“I have been playing football for 11 years, [the rituals are] just a habit. Adding familiarity to facing opponents makes me play better,” Marcum said.