Lucky shorts and left shoes: Hanover football players, coach are a superstitious bunch
From eating the same meal to not washing those lucky socks, many athletes are superstitious.
The football program at Hanover Senior High School is no exception. Many athletes and coaches involved with the team, which is having its best season in recent memory, have pre-game routines to boost their luck.
Take Hanover head coach Bill Reichart, for example. Reichart might be the most superstitious figure on the team, he said.
"I am very superstitious; the one thing that I will always do is put my left shoe on first. If we win, I wear the same thing I did the week before," he said.
Weather doesn't stop Reichart's clothing combination either. If a lucky pair of shorts helped win games in August and September, they'll still be on come October and November, he said.
"Sometimes we have to cover up with pants as we move in the season, so I'll have the lucky shorts and shirt combination on underneath whatever else the public can see," he said.
Most of his players don't go through such trouble to prepare for game day. Take senior wide receiver/cornerback Nicolas Seymour, who does nothing more than say a prayer and listen to some rap music before games, he said.
There's also the duo of seniors Colten Ehrhart and Brent Hill, who help put each other's jerseys on before each game. That superstition started before high school, Hill said, but is the extent of his must-do routine. In the end, talent and preparation win out, he said.
"I always get pretty relaxed and stay calm because I've been here before and we've all been here before," he said.
Before taking the field, the team will gather as a unit, Seymour said. His coach will deliver a pregame speech, and then quarterback Kyle Krout will have his teammates circle around him and lead a chant before running onto the field, he said.
"What coach does and what Kyle does gets us excited for the game and ready to take the field," Seymour said. "It's pretty awesome."
Superstition can still only win so much, Reichart said. More than anything, Hanover has remained undefeated because of the way they practice. Remaining calm sets the tone before each game.
"It's mostly preparation before emotion. I'll go over the game plan again and again before we start and make sure we have every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed," he said. "Each week we've had a different player step up. That speaks volumes about the character of these kids and how they work during the week."
This doesn't mean Reichart, or anyone for that matter, will stop their pre-game rituals any time soon. Hanover entered Friday night's game at Littlestown a perfect 6-0. The Nighthawks haven't trailed at any point this season.
"Just like last week, the left shoe will go on first this week," Reichart said.