The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

Page 6 – Sugar rush: Athletes create bonds as well as make memories through team meals, food traditions

While watching a Tik Tok, senior Jamie Lever got the idea to make a candy salad. Each swimmer would bring a small pack of candy to add to a bowl and it was all mixed together.

“I wanted to do this trend as a team bonding moment, we always have room for improvement to be a stronger team and work on our communication amongst each other,” Lever said. 

One of the best aspects of being an athlete is how much food you can eat and it doesn’t affect you because you’ll work it off later. 

Especially if you’re eating with your teammates through conversation.  

“Team dinners in softball are really important, it’s always the night before our Friday game,” sophomore Karlie Demel said.

The softball team signs up for what date they will host the dinner so it allows everyone to have a chance to contribute and participate. 

“I really love it, especially being around the girls in an environment away from the field,” Demel said. 

For girls swimming, even with wrestling when struggling to keep a secure weight for competition, team activities and meals help the team relate to each other. 

“Once we go out to eat with our teammates we get to have fun getting anything off the menu not worrying about calories or like salt,” sophomore Quentin Williams said. 

When away from the mats, court, field, or pool the pressure is off of your team to constantly be locked in and focused.

“We try to keep the topics away from what sport we are playing at the time to keep it light and have bonding that goes outside of the sport,” Demel said. 

Sophomore Pantherette Avery Burkholder agreed.

To be in sync with your team, in dance is to have patient communication with each other and in order to do that you have to focus on establishing connections. 

“At the end of the season I feel relieved and as if a weight lifted off my shoulders when I can end my diet,” Williams said. 

Girls basketball coach Bryan Chadwick agrees that team meals and snacks help to unite the team. 

“Our kids have a keen interest in food, and our parents are always willing to lend a hand. We believe that food has the power to brighten up someone’s day,” Chadwick said. 

“Team dinner always helps us calm down and always get through it together before a football game or anything,” she said.

The pressure of having to perform as a team is demanding and relies on everyone for perfection. So it’s helpful when you’re able to connect your teammates about the feeling of nervousness that you share. 

The boys swim team went to Freddy’s after meets and converse about the highlights of their races. 

 “And we just talked and ate,” junior Jared Hays said. “I learned a lot about who my guys were and how they function, especially having that meet context and we talked about our races.

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