In 1903, the Haverford Third Alpha played the Haverford Third Omega in a ninth-grade football game. It was a low scoring game: Alphas 10 and Omegas 0. Before and after the game the Alphas likely changed in a gym locker room, where they mentally prepared for the game. The team likely bonded in this locker room and became a closer and better team. The tradition of the Haverford locker room dates back to the early 1900s.
Now, every day after school, students head over to the athletic center to change in the locker room before practices and games. In the locker room athletes adjust from student to athlete and bond with their teammates. This mental switch is key to many teams’ success. Due to the pandemic, the locker room is collecting dust.
“We have had to alter the way that we do many things to try and make the environment as safe as possible for students and faculty. Locker rooms are no different,” Athletic Director Mr. Michael Murphy said.
Restricting the locker room was strictly a safety decision.
“We got dressed next to the court during the games, which was odd. I understand the reasons, but it was just a weird time,” Sixth Form basketball captain Zach Genther said. “The locker room in past years was a place where the team came together.”
Some athletes’ moods have changed now that the locker room is out of commission.
“I looked forward to getting fifteen minutes with the guys and team,” Sixth Former Matt Carlino said. “And it was a time where the boys could be the boys.”
Many athletes have come to love what the locker room brings to a team.
“After practices and games the locker room was where we could crack jokes and distance ourselves from the seriousness of the practice of games,” Genther said. “I think the locker room is crucial to our team.”
“Once changed and ready to go, no matter where it happens, athletes need to be able to flip a switch, get focused and ready to compete.”Murphy said
Too many athletes, the locker room means more than just a place to change.
“Especially over spring break we do a lot of hanging out in the locker room. So we’d do a lot of bonding with the older guys and younger guys.Without having that, we will lose that bond with the younger guys,” Sixth Form lacrosse captain Micheal Bozzi said.
The locker room seems to be a place where teams grow and get closer.
“The biggest part is no adults,” Fourth Former Billy Brosko said. “You get to see the real side of a person, when they are not in front of teachers and adults. The locker room is a place where there is no pressure to be a certain way. This is what I believe leads teams to become closer.”