As the DGS boys swim team prepares for sectionals and State, the scissors and razors come out of the drawer to cut their hair in different and creative ways. This is a way for the team to bond and to get ready for State when they would have to shave their heads to improve their scores.
The team members shave unusual designs such as glasses on the back of their heads, mohawks and hair styled after Martin Luther. The team decides what they’re going to do and then get together to do the designs and patterns.
The reasoning for shaving their heads for meets is that it makes them go faster. This is known as swimmers drag, which is when they have all their hair on their bodies til the last minute. When they shave it all off, it improves their overall time.
Senior Thomas O’Hern explains that the reason the shave their heads is a great feeling to experience when first getting in the water.
“Shaving our heads every year is something we do for conference at the end of the year, it’s something [that] makes us swim faster…Although when you jump in the water for the first time after shaving your head, it’s a feeling that gives you a huge adrenaline rush and gives you a huge boost,” O’Hern said.
The tradition is not centered around DGS exclusively and is done by schools all over the country. Senior Kiehl Carlquist thinks that this traditions will continue to live on at DGS regardless if other schools continue to do it or not.
“Currently I think we are the only team in our conference that shaves as a team but for DGS alone, we have been doing this tradition for an extremely long time, and it will not stop,” Carlquist said.
Coach Bryan Szweda feels that this is a great way for the team to bond before their big meet.
“Part of it is most of the team shaves their head…for their end of the year swim meet so since they’re going to be shaving it anyway, it’s just kind of a fun way to bond as a team and do some fun stuff,” Szweda said.
With all that they do to prepare for their season, the hair doesn’t seem as big of a deal. Senior Andrew Chmela said that it helps them prepare for what is to come.
“There are very high expectations for conference, sectionals, and State for our team,” Chmela said. “I can’t wait to see it all play out.”
ISHA Sectionals for boys swimming is scheduled to be on February 21st at York Community High School.