DENVER — Athletics is a world full of superstitions. Ask any coach or player and they'll rattle off countless little things that they do ahead of a big game or while they're on a winning streak.
For the Grandview cheer team, it's no different.
The night before the start of state spirit, the entire team goes through the same ritual that has preceded a top-five finish for them in each of the last three years.
The process is fairly straight-forward. The night before the start of the meet, the Wolves all gather for a team meeting where they building they annual state books. Each member of the team has to make a card for every other member on the team. All told, the books take close to 12 hours to assemble.
They are all then given a pinecone. When they go to sleep each night, they have to be wearing a green t-shirt and the pinecone must be placed underneath their pillows.
But before they get to the point where they are getting ready to go to sleep, they must flush ice cubes down the toilet.
"The pinecone and the green shirts go back years," coach Christina Maccarrone said. "It's a Grandview tradition. It goes back to before I started coaching here."
Maccarrone said that she added flushing the ice cubes down the toilet because it's something that kids do when they want a snow day. So why not add something else that results in kids being happy?
It might seem a little quirky, but with the way the team has performed in recent years they figure they shouldn't fix what isn't broken.
"At first I thought it was silly," Graycee Carlton. "But after doing it for a long time you start think it really does work."
If there is any evidence that it's all mental and it doesn't matter if the girls actually do it or not, look no further than Karsyn Yovanovich.
She didn't buy it. Going into state last year, she did not sleep in the green t-shirt and the results show in her performance. She was the only member of the Wolves squad that fell during the performance.
"I didn't think the superstitions were real," she said.
After what happened last year, she quickly pointed out that she made sure to check every superstition off the list heading into Friday's preliminaries at the Denver Coliseum.
But there is something more important going on for them this year than the green shirts and the pinecones. Through each competition this year, they have hearts in their shoes. They believe that the hearts help them hit in the competitions.
They also have special hearts for a past cheerleader that passed away in July. Each member of the squad has a yellow heart to honor Phoebe Lester and keep her close to the team.
Unfortunately, the Wolves did not advance to Saturday's finals. But the results won't stop them from making sure their rituals stay the same heading into next year.
Teams advancing to finals:
- Bear Creek
- Vista Ridge
- Mountain Vista
- Castle View
- Greeley West
- Arvada West
- Cherokee Trail
- Douglas County
- Rock Canyon
- Smoky Hill
- Wheat Ridge
- Valor Christian
- Pueblo West
- Sand Creek
- Thompson Valley
- The Academy
- Prospect Ridge
- Faith Christian
2A/3A Cheer Coed:
- St. Mary's
- Coal Ridge
- Cheyenne Wells