Article by Sacha Bindra
Photograph by Joungbihn Park
With yet another IASAS fast approaching, the school once again turns its attention to athletes competing in rugby, touch, basketball, and swimming. Over the years, each of these ISM teams have developed trademarks, traditions, and styles that bring them together throughout second season and set them apart at IASAS. These trends include trusty favorite accessories like the slides and elite socks worn by our basketball teams, as well as more specific items or practices followed by each team. Another example is the outgoing members of the IASAS swim team, who often dye parts of their hair blond, or a symbolic ‘gold’ as a display of unity. Other trends include pre-wrap headbands, long-sleeved sports tops worn by the touch girls, and more.
Although not entirely necessary to play the sport, these traditions have become staples for aesthetics, solidarity, or even functionality. Rugby team member sophomore Josh A. mentions that the team “chose to wear our match kit to training sessions.” As a result, he feels as though “we looked like a team and felt one as a team.” By wearing the same type of clothes to training sessions, the team begins to build their unity even before playing a match. He adds that wearing the match kit to practices “just stretches the jerseys out a bit!”
While most trends originate from famous teams or brands, Josh says that the ultimate decision lies with the team. “We just design them and see which one looks good,” he says, regarding the matter. Although wearing coordinated clothes or uniforms does little to affect their performance, Josh explains that “it [makes] us feel like we look good” while playing. Of course, morale, spirits, and support are important as well when playing a match. Even though ISM has its unique traditions, it appears as though other IASAS schools have their own customs as well. Josh remembers “The JIS team having mohawks” as “quite ridiculous and amusing to teams playing against them!”
To students not participating in this season’s sports, certain trends may initially seem bizarre. Yet ultimately, “it shows how far [the teams will] go to support the school and the team spirit,” according to sophomore Luke P. Observed throughout all of their intense efforts at local games, meets, and IASAS tournaments, the unity of each group never fails to amaze the ISM community. Their support of the school, as well as each other, through something as simple collective fashion decisions, provides an example for each Bearcat to follow!