Game-day traditions drive Irish football

Celebrating Mass, praying the rosary among team’s activities


Jonas Hollis

One of the many game-day traditions of the Irish football team involves celebrating Mass in the Shiel Student Life Center.

Jameson Browne, News Editor

Game day is always an exciting time on the Hill, especially for the football players.

Junior tight end John Paul Koscielski explained how he gets physically and mentally prepared to play every weekend. His breakfast normally consists of eggs, and a typical lunch would be a peanut butter sandwich. Hydration always comes first, though, of course. “We always need to be carrying around some sort of fluids to get our bodies ready for the game,” Koscielski said.

The tradition starts with a team meal after school at 3:20 which he says is some type of meat with a baked potato. Following the meal is a team Mass at 4 p.m. “Mass is a chance for us to come together and praise God. It is a calming time for everyone,” he said.

One of Koscielski’s favorite parts of game day is getting hyped up in the locker room with his teammates. “It is always a lot of fun hanging out with my guys and getting ready to go to war with them,” he said. Once the team gets on the bus, they pray the entire rosary together.

While the locker room at school is exciting, Koscielski says the locker room at the field is typically more relaxed and peaceful. “We are all just getting ready, mentally and physically, to go out there and win a football game,” he said.

His favorite moment is walking out onto the field with bagpipes playing. Koscielski said, “That is a moment that I will never get tired of. The bagpipes really get me ready to go out there and hit someone.”

After the game, tradition includes singing the fight song and staying silent on 56th Street. “This brings the whole day together, especially after a victory,” he said. The excitement and liveliness of game day is something Koscielski will never grow tired of. “High school football really helps us to become men and learn how to act,” he said. The taste of victory and togetherness is something Koscielski and this team strives for.

He said, “My favorite part of playing is being with my team and winning. Winning always brings us together.”