Gifting: a way to be remembered on the boys varsity soccer team


Gifts are something that everybody enjoys receiving; however, to the boys varsity soccer team, gifts have a deeper, meaningful, funny meaning behind them. Gifts are tradition.

Every year, once the season is over, the soccer team gets together in the locker room for the gifting ceremony. The seniors give every person on the team one gift. The gifts represent something about the individual who is receiving it—usually the present is funny and embarrassing. For example, senior Omar Hadzimujic said, “This year, we got Eli Lipke [sophomore on the team] a Disney princess spelling book.” The reason behind that is confidential as what happens between the team during the gifting in the locker room stays in the locker room.

This tradition is very much like a final goodbye, last laugh, and last contribution. It is a way to prepare for the next season; however, to the seniors, it is their last chance that they have to joke around with the underclassmen—and of course, spend time with their team. The captains get gifts for every player based around something that the particular individual did that season so that he has a memory of it. It can be an inside joke, gag gift, or a real gift—it depends on the relationship the individual had with the seniors. Beyond all of the laughs, this tradition serves as a last contribution the seniors give to the team/soccer program that did so much for them during their years of high school soccer.

“It is [in a way] giving back to the team in a funny way in order to be remembered,” Omar said.

Every team has its own unique tradition. To this team, it is gifting. Although some of the gifts are non-traditional, they are held close to the player’s heart. Behind all of the victories and memories this team made throughout the season, it always concludes the same: the gift exchange.

Compared to other sports, volleyball does something similar; each volleyball player, no matter what grade or level, gives mini-gifts before every home game to her assigned sister. It is a similar concept to what the soccer program does, but that team took it one step further in order to make the gift being received more memorable and significant. The soccer program as a whole does not partake in this gifting ceremony so it gives the freshman and JV teams something to look forward to as they continue their high school soccer careers.

Freshman and JV soccer players look forward to this tradition as they hope that one day they will be able to participate in it—hopefully filling up the big shoes left behind by the seniors. The juniors this year have a massive legacy to uphold next season. As they welcome the new players, they say farewell to the seniors. This goes out to the seniors; you will be missed, and on behalf of the soccer team, thank you for keeping this tradition alive.