Athletes dress up for camaraderie, bonding, fun on game days


Isabella Ciriello , Staff Writer

“Team spirit is one of my favorite parts of the [field hockey] team because it just adds a really fun sense of community and a playfulness that I really enjoy,” Ellie Romero (10) said. 

On game days, many sports teams participate in team spirit where they dress up in creative costumes to boost team morale and bond.

Michelle Orloff (11), a member of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team (GVV), always gets excited for team spirit. It brings the team together,” she said. “We all have to text each other to figure out what we’re wearing, and sometimes we can make it goofy.”

Last Friday, GVV dressed up as their “red flags,” or toxic character traits, which they taped onto red shirts. Some examples were “forgets to block,” “serial dater,” “bodies the net when she hits,” and “doesn’t move their feet,” Orloff said.

While there are themes teams often repeat each season, such as blackout, pajamas, white lies, and business casual, the more creative costumes are funnier and strike up more conversations, Orloff said. One of her favorite team spirit costumes is “soccer moms,” where the team dresses up in leggings and Lululemon zip-up jackets.

The seniors of Boys Varsity Soccer (BVS) decide on each theme a few days before a game and text the team group chat, Matthew Edelman (12) said. “We love it. It’s so funny,” he said. “We take a picture right in the morning and we’ll send mirror selfies of us in our outfits.”

The Junior Varsity (JV) Water Polo team decides the theme as a group, which makes it easier to include everyone’s ideas, team member Maya Glickman (9) said. Her favorite theme this year was pajamas because it was the most comfortable, she said. She also liked when the Varsity Water Polo team did beach-themed spirit because they got to wear bright flower-patterned shirts and sunglasses, she said.

Another classic theme is ski goggles and sports jerseys, which was one of Edelman’s favorite team spirits from last year, he said. Another one of his favorite themes is when the team travels to Poly Prep and they act like they are going on a big trip to an airport because the school is so far away, he said. “We bring suitcases and pillows because it’s such a long car ride.”

Last year, Romero found it funny when the seniors chose Adam Sandler as the theme for basketball. “It was the dead of winter, but we were asked to wear shorts and oversized shirts,” she said.

The day before Homecoming, the sports teams go all out and dress up in elaborate costumes, ranging from princesses to pirates and everything in between. 

Last year, Romero enjoyed dressing up as one of Snow Whites dwarfs because it was a creative costume and helped her to bond with her teammates, she said.

GVV member Isa Melián (11) always enjoys finding out what the seniors pick for Homecoming. This year is her first on a varsity team, so she is excited to be a part of the tradition, she said

Sela Schamroth (12), a member of Girls Varsity Soccer (GVS), has been looking forward to picking the theme since she was a freshman, she said. “It’s just so fun that we get an opportunity to lead the team in a different way. It also shows our team’s commitment to wear such silly costumes around school with zero embarrassment.”

Her favorite Homecoming team spirit costume was when the seniors chose “Ratatouille” in freshman year, Schamroth said. The seniors were chefs, the juniors and sophomores were vegetables, and the freshmen were rats, the most embarrassing costume. “We just thought it was the funniest thing ever.”

Dylan Greenberg (11) is also excited for Homecoming team spirit because it is always creative and funny, he said. Last year, he liked how the BVS goalkeepers, Spencer Kolker (11) and Edelman dressed up in matching inflatable unicorn costumes. 

Team spirit helps the team play better in games because it demonstrates solidarity and commitment to the team and each other, Schamroth said. “When only half the team does team spirit, it’s a little bit annoying because if we all walk around the school looking silly, we’re all doing it together,” she said.

English teacher Dr. Adam Casdin enjoys seeing different teams’ outfits because they are often funny and remind him of the lighthearted, less academic side of the school, he said. “Students are just walking into a class and all of a sudden there’s someone dressed up as a teddy bear.” Team spirit brings together students across different grades and makes the school community bond in a playful way, Casdin said. He appreciates how team spirit shows teachers a different side of students from their classroom selves. “We see a student on the field and in different contexts, and different qualities of that student emerge,” Casdin said. “That’s just thrilling. I love that part of it.”

History teacher Melissa Morales enjoys how team spirit brings together such a large and diverse community of students and faculty with its silly and sometimes embarrassing get-ups. Seeing team spirit encourages her to attend more games and support her students’ teams, she said.

Orloff appreciates team spirit because it models the behavior a team member should have: being able to joke around with friends while also being serious about the sport, she said. “It’s just another form of having good sportsmanship and being a good teammate.”