Fun Lions Football Facts
By: Chris Brown
Before entering a “big game,” many football players, coaches and fans have rituals or superstitions that they believe helps the team play to their full potential and/or even win the game. These can include eating certain foods, mental visualizations, music, and good luck charms and wearing certain clothing.
After accomplishing an astounding 17-game winning streak following the playoff game with Incline, I wondered, do our Yerington Lions have any of these beliefs (or quirks)? I hit a practice session prior to Yerington’s 2A state playoff game against Lincoln County and asked Coach Pope and several players if they had any “secret strategies” they wanted to share? Most did.
Brad Pope indicated he wears the same clothes he wore they last time they won. After 17 wins I assumed those clothes could walk to the game on their own, but he assured me, “I wash the funk off.”
Justin Evasovic tries not to focus on winning or losing but reviews the things he did in the previous game and tries to build on those.
Brothers Travis and Seth Otto stated they pray with the team and find it to be of great help and support.
Vaughn Angle laughingly advised that his rituals, “It involves a lot of caffeine and Ibuprofen.”
Felix Garcia wears a small gold cross his mother gave him.
Camron Reyes has a bracelet his parents got for him. He is not allowed to wear it on the field, but he cites the inscription before each game. It states, “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the determination to do something in spite of fear.”
Senior player Sayre Chidwick told me that he, “eats a Subway pizza.” Even when traveling, he brings his pizza with him. When asked how this tradition was born, he advised, “I ate a pizza from Subway before the first game we won, and we have won every game since.” He humor was delightfully present when he stated, “hey, it works!”
Whatever the superstition, it has worked for them. Coach Pope stated if they advance to the State Championship, it would be his fourth State Champ title as head coach, with three of those being back-to-back. He also had State Championship wins as an assistant coach under Coach Neville.