Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

A season of festivities

Student-athletes and their holiday traditions
Photo by Caitlin Marino
Last winter, the poms team gathered around the fireplace in their pajamas during their annual Christmas party. They open gifts and tell fun stories with each other.

Many sports teams use holiday traditions as a fun and festive way to bond outside of practices and competitions. At LZHS, the gymnastics team and competitive dance team all celebrate special holiday team traditions each year.

The gymnastics team celebrates both Thanksgiving and Christmas with many traditions. According to Olivia Verden, senior, her team plays a variety of holiday-themed games.

“For Thanksgiving, we all play some fun games after one of our competitions. The games are different challenges that each team has to complete in a limited amount of time. I really like the tradition because after we play the games, the coaches give the winning team a cute little trophy as a prize,” Verden said.

Not only does Verden’s team celebrate Thanksgiving, but they also have special traditions for Christmas, such as a Christmas talent show.

“Everyone gets in groups and makes up dance routines. After everybody performs, the coaches vote on the winner,” Verden said. “Last year, we dressed up in Santa hats, and some people had Christmas-themed pajamas or matching leotards.”

Along with their talent show, the gymnastics team also celebrates the holidays with a white elephant party during one of their practices.

“Everyone unwraps a gift with oven mitts on, making the process more difficult and fun. The gifts are pretty entertaining and funny. One year someone got weird massage boots,” Verden said.

Similar to the gymnastics team, the competitive dance team at LZHS also celebrates the winter holidays with some team traditions. The dance team takes advantage of the bonding opportunities which the festive season brings.

“Every year, one girl hosts a Christmas pajama party and dinner. The party helps bring everyone together,” Caitlin Marino, senior, said.

According to Marino, everyone participates in the Christmas party and various holiday activities.

“The team party and dinner is a tradition that one of our current juniors started their freshman year. We have fun presentations too,” Marino said.

According to a Bear Facts Student Media survey of 366 students, 63.9% of students who celebrate the holidays with their sports teams, have traditions for Christmas. Marino’s dance team celebrates the holiday to help strengthen the bonds on her team.

“It is a special day where we celebrate one another and our team’s accomplishments midway into competition season,” Marino said.

When Marino was a freshman, the team could not celebrate their usual traditions because of COVID, however, she is doing her best to bring back the traditions and keep the spirit alive for the next generation of dancers at LZ.

“Traditions are ways to celebrate your teammates and the season’s accomplishments,” Marino said. “We all love each other and it is such a fun way to celebrate the holiday and our team.”

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About the Contributor
Lindsey Bitzer
Lindsey Bitzer, Sports Editor
Coming back for her last and third year on the Bear Facts staff, Lindsey continues her role as the Sports Editor. As college approaches, she intends to savor every last minute with her staff and advisor, Mrs. Lungu. Though she wants to pursue some type of art in the future whether that be illustration, writing, etc., she is keeping her options open as there is still so much more to explore.

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