Category Archives: Sports

Athlete Q&A: Senior Guard Morgan Kingston

What is your favorite thing about basketball season?
Games are my favorite thing about basketball season.

Who got you interested in basketball?
I actually did not want to play basketball, but my parents wanted me to try it, so I did. Now I love it.

What is the most memorable game of your four seasons as a Lady Ram?
I started my first Varsity game my freshman year.

What are your plans for future sports career?
I am undecided if I would like to continue playing sports in college or not.

Osborn eats his share of good luck

Being the man I am, I love sports. The best part of a sport is the thrill of a win. Most people will say, wins only come from hard work and effort, but I think there is more to it. During the basketball season I take many extra steps to ensure a victory. I follow these set steps, these superstitious winning ideas, once it is game day.

It all starts in the morning. The first thing I do on a game day is prepare a bowl of oatmeal. I eat instant oatmeal, banana and cream flavor, for home games, but away games differ slightly.
Before away games, I eat plain instant oatmeal and add sliced bananas to the mix. This came to be during my freshman year. I was going to be playing a JV game that night, and looked for oatmeal. It was nowhere to be found, so I had to improvise. Later that night, once the game started, I felt energized and good. I played one of my better games that year.
My school schedule doesn’t change much for game days. I put on the selected clothing that each member of the team wears, and continue on with my day.
But, once school is over, my pre-game begins. For home games, I travel home and prepare cheese pizza rolls. I only eat 15 though, because any less won’t provide me with enough energy and eating any more will upset my stomach. I came up with the perfect pizza roll ratio over the course of one year, and it still holds up today.
Away games are a little less determined. For them, I eat a meal with the team. It varies from game to game, so it’s not something I plan.
This leads into the next phase of my pre-game, my choice of music and attire for warm-ups. For home games, I leave myself two options: I can either wear my cut-off IU shirt or my cut-off plain white tee under my jersey. I started wearing only exclusively these two shirts during my sophomore year. We went to a weekend tournament, and I didn’t expect to proceed in that tournament any further then the two guaranteed games. So, I only brought those two shirts, but we won that game and won again. These shirts had some form of magical, basketball-enhancing abilities in them, so I continue to wear them today.
For away games, I wear a cut-off purple basketball shirt from when I was in sixth grade. I started wearing this shirt during my sophomore year. I just finished a JV game, and something happened with an older player, where I got to dress for Varsity game. I just luckily brought this purple shirt to wear as an undershirt for a polo. In the heat of the moment, I tossed it to junior Carter Chastain and he ripped the sleeves off, while I got dressed. So, I wear this shirt to remember my first time dressing on the Varsity team.
Superstitions are a weird thing. While I know superstitions don’t affect my ability to play at all, I still follow my routine every game day. I still attribute all my losses and bad playing to when I don’t follow these good luck rules.

Story by: Todd Osborn

Lucky You

Coaches share secrets to winning seasons

Coaches and players everywhere have their own unique superstitions and pre-game rituals. From basketball to softball, coaches have their own unique recipes for victory.
Superstitions for most coaches are good luck and by doing the same rituals, some believe it will bring them many wins. Most coaches do these rituals to “guarantee” a win, or just because they have done it forever.
World History teacher Neil Dittmer, assistant football coach and head softball coach, has many superstitions.
“For football, I have to eat a six-inch Subway turkey and bacon with a Diet Coke, I’m the only one who can touch the footballs pre-game when setting up the field, I have to put my dad’s State Runner-Up ring in my back left pocket before the game and during the game I have to change gum every quarter,” said Dittmer.
Softball brings a whole new ritual to Dittmer.
“For softball, I can’t eat the whole day before the game, I have to write my dad’s initials in the dirt behind third base every inning, I wear the same clothes during a winning streak, I change gum every half inning and have to drink a purple Powerade,” said Dittmer.
Dittmer is not the only coach who has odd superstitions. Head girls basketball coach Don Helmick also has some superstitions, too. Most of them originated at his previous job at Cascade High School.
“In the past I have always taken a shower during the third quarter of the JV game. I always wear the same pair of shoes every first game of the year. I used to wear them every game, but they are not in the best shape and the dog has chewed on them,” said Helmick.
During Sectional, Helmick wears a Monrovia Hall of Fame Classic sleeveless t-shirt from 1999 under a pullover for good luck.
“At Cascade I would always have Panda Express before every game, softball or basketball. I always wore a baseball pullover during softball county games and if we get on a winning streak, I will not trim my goatee down,” said Helmick. “Other than that, I am pretty normal.”
Head boys basketball coach Dusty Cole also has some unusual rituals. When Cole was a player, he recalls many superstitions he upheld along with some he has today.
“As a player, I always put my shorts on backwards for warm ups, then when we went in for our last pre-game talk, I would change them around. I did this by accident one time and played really well, and it stuck. I just continued to do it,” said Cole. “I always left my shooting shirt on until game time and prayed during the National Anthem. We always had a team prayer before taking the floor and I always wore the same socks and undershirt.”
Cole’s upholding of rituals carries on into his coaching career. But, some of them are different from when he was a player.
“Now that I coach, I always take a shower before a game, wear ‘Lucky’ cologne, pray during the National Anthem and always begin a game by sitting down a couple of possessions before walking the sidelines,” said Cole.
To end his plethora of pre-game rituals, Cole always has a talk with the team about to take the floor.
“I always write down pre-game plans, goals and key points on the marker board and go over them with the team. This always ends with emphasizing rebounding,” said Cole.
There is no doubt some of the coaches at PHS have unique superstitions. Many feel the reason for these is to help them win the game ahead. If it works and they win, these odd superstitions may not be considered so odd anymore. They could possibly be considered by everyone, an extra bit of luck to win. As the saying goes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.ditt1_lt

Head softball and assistant football coach Neil Dittmer on the sidelines this season. Photo by Lily Thompson

Story by: Garrett Vincent

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