Looking back on my four years at Rockhurst, one of the most recognized and longest running traditions in sports is the blue hawklet stickers on plain white football helmets. Although it’s unknown as to when the tradition actually started, it’s one of Rockhurst‘ most creative. It allows players to style their helmets any way they please– granted it’s appropriate. In order to earn one of the coveted hawklets, there are certain goals an individual or position group must achieve.
Team hawklets can be awarded in a number of different ways. For example, on offense, if the team scores in all four quarters, then each player that got at least 10 plays that game will receive a hawklet. On defense, if we hold our opponents scoreless for the entire game then each player who had 10 reps of defense that game will get a hawklet. Or on special teams, if the kicker kicks the ball into the endzone resulting in a touchback, each player on the kickoff team will receive a hawklet. Or if the kickoff team prevents the opponents from returning the ball across their own 20 yard line the entire kickoff team will receive a hawklet. Individual hawklets can be earned by making special plays like getting an interception, recovering a fumble, earning MVP of the week in practice, or for offensive linemen, by putting the person they’re blocking in a game on their back– a pancake.
Though some schools have chrome helmets or stripes and flashy face masks, our helmets are unique because by keeping the tradition, it unites former members of the team to the team’s current members. Reminding us of those who paved the way for us while also paving the road for those to come.
To me, it wasn’t about getting a bunch of stickers and putting them on the helmet to look cooler. It was about leaving my legacy behind to inspire future players. It was about being apart of something that is bigger than yourself. Suiting up on Friday nights in the blue and white, playing for each other, and leaving everything out there on the field is probably something none of us will ever forget.