As predictable as Old Faithful in Yellowstone, for three weeks a year, SAS Varsity teams rock up to school in the morning with matching hairstyles. Usually marking the few days leading up to IASAS, haircuts in previous years include bleaching, cornrows, and the ever flattering mohawk. While obviously letting the rest of the non jocks easily identify the athletes in class and in the halls, many questions have been raised about this annual tradition. Do matching haircuts promote team spirit? Do these barbershop masterpieces intimidate the competition? Are they a fulfillment of a team’s bargain with the devil in order to place at IASAS?
No matter the reason, we at the Eye have a contractible obligation to answer any and all urgent questions of the masses of Eagle Country. This week, I’m choosing to take the brave deep dive into the brain of the high school jock and answer the burning question surrounding the heads of male varsity athletes….why?
I posed the same question to the captain of Varsity rugby Joshua Bonnette. To my surprise I learned there was a whole host of decisions leading up to actually choosing a haircut, with the selection itself falling to the captains. He told me “We usually mess around with a couple ideas that won’t ever happen, like all dying our hair red or getting mohawks. It’s actually tradition for Jakarta (rugby) to get mohawks, so that’s never a real option for us. Eventually we settled on buzzes, and we had to get the approval of Kim Criens. He said we could only if the entire team did it.”
When it came to what the haircuts themselves meant to the team, Josh had a very straightforward answer. He told me, “In one word, brotherhood. It’s a show of solidarity to the other teams, that we have each others back on and off the field. It shows the brotherhood of rugby as it’s team bonding to get matching haircuts.”
Well there you have it. I learned that what initially may seem like a frivolous IASAS ritual to some is actually an important part of being part of a team. Matching IASAS haircuts serve to show each player’s dedication, as it’s a physical mark of being part of something larger than themselves. While it may not be a pact with the devil, it’s certainly a pact with each other- to remain as comrades through the good times and the bad of IASAS.