New WHS policy bans jersey swapping


Declan Funk

Sophomore Dwayne Wang wearing his jersey, #33, prior to a game

Declan Funk, Sienna Nino and Neveah Yancey, Staff Writers

On September 14, 2022, the administration and the athletics director announced a new policy that bans jersey swapping from athletic team members for the foreseeable future. 

   Recently, there had been reports that jersey swapping caused students to feel uncomfortable. Players were being assigned to swap with students they may not have been on good terms with, which made people uncomfortable. The administration, including athletic director, Michael McGrath, came to an agreement about the situation.

   “We don’t want anyone to receive a jersey in a joking manner. We don’t want anybody to feel like they have to wear a jersey or don’t receive a jersey if somebody wants one,” McGrath said. 

   The jersey swap had been a tradition at the high school for a very long time. Some upperclassmen, such as senior and volleyball captain Ella Sweeney, are sad to see it go.

   “I remember as a freshman I used to do it, and in all my years I was assigned [someone],” Sweeney said.“I always thought it was fun, but I understand the downsides, that there are people that are hurt…there’s definitely things that need to be altered.” 

   Jersey swapping has been a part of WHS psyche ups for decades in various forms.

   Boys varsity soccer assistant coach and history teacher, Moncrieff Cochran, also shares strong opinions about the policy change. 

   “I think the intent of jersey swapping in the past was innocent and playful, but recently teams, or certain players on teams, have used it as an opportunity to make fun of or haze other players on their team, which obviously can’t happen,” Cochran said. “It’s these types of incidents that ruin it for everyone else, and if they can’t be controlled, then the tradition has to be either removed, replaced, or revised,” 

   Looking forward, other psyche ups for sports teams will continue, but the jersey swapping will not be part of them.