With the wrestling season coming to an end, the lettermen wrestlers participate in the annual tradition of dyeing their hair blonde. The origin of this tradition is unknown, but it always happens right before the district tournament to represent team unity.
“It’s just this sense of community,” junior and varsity wrestler Ryan Therkorn said. “Most wrestlers do it and when the whole team does it except for one or two people, you feel more unified.”
This tradition is something that only the wrestlers who letter take part in. Although most of the lettering team participates in dyeing their hair, it is not a requirement.
Junior and varsity wrestler Norsang Tseten did not participate in the tradition because of personal concerns about the hair dyeing process.
“I felt like I’d look weird and it would mess up my hair,” Tseten said.
Although Tseten is the only member of the team with unbleached hair, he said he didn’t feel disconnected from the team spirit.
“I wanted to do it at the end but then it was too late,” Tseten said. “Next year I will participate though, since it’s my last year.”
The concept of hair dyeing before heading into the postseason has been a wrestling tradition for years.
“I’ve been here for 13 years and it’s been going on for at least that long,” head wrestling coach Jason Planakis said.
According to Planakis, the team chose blonde because it’s the simplest to bleach. The color itself does not hold any significance, but it is the vibrancy that makes the wrestlers stand out collectively.
“Whether it’s white, black, Latino or Asian guys, they’ve all got bright blonde hair […] which is part of why they do it, so that they stand out together,” Planakis said. “You see that bright blonde hair and you immediately think, ‘Oh, that’s the wrestlers and it’s that time of the year.’”