Badgers Share Traditions

Badgers Share Traditions

The game is about to start. The crowd cheers on both sides, creating a loud environment. The varsity volleyball team tries to get focused and prepare for the game ahead, but it becomes hard with the noise. This all changes when varsity volleyball player Meredith McBeth calls the team in for a huddle. The team creates a circle and McBeth leads them in a prayer. Suddenly all the noise is gone and the team can focus and connect on a new level. 

Though not many, the volleyball team’s traditions are dear to their heart and bring the team closer together. 

My favorite tradition is praying for the team before our matches,” McBeth Said. “I first started praying for our team in the middle of the season and I can’t imagine any other way. When we pray, we let aside our differences and negative mindsets and give thanks for the opportunity to be a part of something greater.”

Praying isn’t just important to McBeth, it’s important to the whole team. 

“After high fiving the opposing team, we all come together on our side of the court, place our right foot forward, and Meredith Mcbeth leads us in prayer during our huddle,” varsity volleyball player Arielle Aguirre said. “My favorite tradition is praying before games. This helps ease my mind and gets me ready to play. Praying before games is something we all like to do because we all have a relationship with God.”

Before varsity home games, each volleyball player gets a small volleyball to decorate. During the game when their names are announced and high fives are exchanged each player throws their mini volleyball into the crowd. 

“I believe throwing volleyballs has been around for a while,” Aguirre said. “We enjoy throwing volleyballs because it gets the crowd involved more.”

This year head volleyball coach Christy Wiley started the team tradition: team notes. The varsity players all make boxes and before each game the team makes each other personal, empowering notes to read before the game.

“This tradition started during an overnight tournament in Tivy,” McBeth said. “We all made boxes for our teammates to put inspiring notes in. A part of any good teammate’s job is to be the biggest cheerleader whether losing or winning. The notes help others be positive and confident in themselves. If one person is positive it should spread throughout the team like a wildfire. The notes remind myself that there will always be someone to go through adversity with me.”

Three years ago, Wiley also created a tradition the team calls “The Breakfast of Champions.”

“This is done on the morning of our first district game,” Wiley said. “I cook breakfast at my house for the varsity players. It helps bring them together in other aspects other than just volleyball. They get to know more about each other.” 

For the volleyball team, traditions aren’t  just something silly that should be taken lightly. They help the team bond and become more than “just a team.”

“Traditions are important because they create a constant to look at when you are facing adversity,” McBeth said. “They remind you that no matter the outcome you will always have something to keep pushing yourself forward towards greatness.”

This makes them all the more special for seniors like Aguirre. 

“I believe everything right now is more important to me as a senior,” Aguirre said. “A lot of the things I’ve done will be the last time I’ll ever do them.”


Several car doors slam shut. Each girl walks into a house that is about to smell of sweet treats and delicious food. A movie begins in the background as the girls are filled with excitement seeing the themed games and activities that have been planned for them. 

Team bondings are where all the cheerleaders gather in one house to usually watch a movie correlating to that week’s pep rally theme and do other fun activities. 

“I enjoy team bondings because we get to watch a movie and have entertaining conversations,” sophomore Chesney Kuklies said. “We also sometimes get free food.” 

At the beginning of each new season, a varsity member is given a junior varsity member to be their cheer sister. The big sisters are there to guide their little sisters. They also exchange gifts with each other after every pep rally. 

“Personally, I love having a cheer sister,” junior Pacey Underwood said. “Not only has it given me lifelong friendships, but it is great to have someone there that always supports you and encourages you. My love language is gift giving, so I really enjoy giving sister gifs after pep rallies because I use it as a way to show my appreciation.” 

As with nearly all traditions, most of the cheer traditions began a long time ago and have stayed in the cheer program for many years. 

“I believe some of the traditions have just evolved over time,” cheer coach Shannon Lindsey said. “Different squads have come up with something and it has just stuck around.” 

Lindsey said the drum cadence dance is special because of how long it has stuck around.

My favorite tradition is performing the drum cadence at the beginning of the pep rally,”  Lindsey said. “This tradition has been around since the 80s. A few of the motions have changed over the years, but as a whole it is pretty much the same routine.”

Traditions are able to connect not only current cheerleaders, but also past and future ones. 

“I think traditions are super important to the culture of the school,” Lindsey said. “It gives a sense of pride and school spirit from alumni and current students. It also gives future students something to look forward to.”

Speech and Debate

Debating may sound like just constant arguing, but it’s quite the opposite for the school’s speech and debate team.

The speech and debate team has traditions that bring them together and keep them united.

“We don’t complain about ballots until we are in the car together, headed home,” Speech and Debate adviser Judith Ann McGhee.

McGhee said it’s important to not complain in front of anyone else from other schools so that they always maintain good manners and team unity while they’re representing the school while traveling.

“Holding our complaints until we’re alone as a team is important to team bonding,” McGhee said. “The novices can hear the varsity members, and learn from them.”

Other traditions for the team include, the yearly Badger Brawl, a white elephant gift exchange at Christmas, and going to Putters and Gutters to hang out a the end of the year instead of holding a banquet, like other organizations do.

“[My favorite tradition is] definitely going to Putters for our last meal together because it brings you back to the exact moments you have spent as a team, like having a dinner and just talking,” class of 2023 graduate Lulu Lopez said. “You get to relive and experience all the moments that brought your team together.”

On every trip, McGhee requires that the student in the passenger seat must have a driver’s license. They are in charge of navigation.

“I’ve found that my younger students have no idea how to read a map or directions,” McGhee said. “A ‘driver’ in the front seat is important so Mrs. McGhee doesn’t get lost.”

Lulu graduated in 2023 and now attends Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

“I miss having a team that will always support you and you can always be around,” Lulu said. “I miss helping. McGhee’s job isn’t easy and I miss giving her that support. [It] was just fulfilling to me.”


After a grueling game, the coaches put down their clipboards, and the football players, drenched in sweat, walk to the middle of the field. The players take a knee and the coaches put their heads down. Silence takes the field. 

Before and after every game the football team takes a moment to pray.

“I feel a lot of emotions,” football coach Cory Warner said. “We’re just very thankful that we get to do what we do, and then be thankful that the Lord is watching over us and keeping us safe.”

After a game against Davenport Oct. 21, a player from the other team joined the prayer.

“He did an outstanding job of praying,” Warner said. “He prayed his own personal prayer, and it was a good one and then we did the Lord’s prayer together. But the young man that did that, just for him being as young as he is and praying the way he did, it showed a lot about him and the way he was raised.”

Junior Brady Renfrew feels at peace when he prays before every game.

“It feels like it really shows us our purpose and it shows that He put us on this earth for a reason,” Renfrew said. “Not just to play football, but show us who He is and to show everybody  else who Jesus is, our Lord and Savior.”

Renfrew was at the Davenport game.

“When we played Davenport and they kicked our butts, we all prayed together and it was a very physical game and a lot of trash talking,” Renfrew said. “At the end of it, we all came together and we prayed together.”


The show’s about to start. The theater students gather in a circle as the seniors give motivational speeches. They huddle closer to put their hands together in the middle and say “Seize the Stage!” 

Theater students participate in traditions throughout the year to bond.

“Not to get corny but theater really is a family,” theater social chair Elaina Hepting said. “We all have to trust and like each other for our program to work. I think doing these kinds of traditions really help us come together.”

The traditions include: knocking on ‘wood’ or any material when talking about One Act Play, touching the plank of wood with the show name painted on it for good luck, painting a brick on the wall your senior year, senior steal, family dinners, Secret Santa and more.

“There are tons of traditions,” theater president Cara Mitchell said. “We have classified ones too that are just for theater students to know.”

The newest tradition was made last year by former student Callie Bekker which is where the theater president gets the birthday student a small gift. 

“It’s very personable, and it sets it apart from the other traditions,” Hepting said. “My gift I received was very thoughtful and it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever gotten.”

Traditions are especially important during OAP season because they are believed to bring good luck for the competition. This includes ‘lucky’ jeans, jamming to a playlist before the show and saying “All the world’s a stage.”

“There are many weird superstitions that we have in theater,” theater vice president Cale Wheeler said. “One odd one is that you have to touch a screw in the bus anytime we go over a railway track for good luck.”

Mitchell said it is difficult to remember all the traditions that have been started over the years and she’s often scared she’ll forget them.

“A lot of these traditions have been going on since any of us were here, even our senior Cara,” Hepting said. “For example, the senior bricks. It’s like a cute little piece of history, especially because a lot of them are people I’ve never met.”

Hepting compares participating in theater traditions to ‘carrying on the legacy’.

“Our traditions help us feel like a whole instead of individual people doing something,” Hepting said. “I think it really helps that sort of family mentality, like you’re part of something larger.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Badger Comments! (0)

All Badger Tracks Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *