Promising pre-game prep

An inside look on what Antioch varsity football players do to get ready for game day.


Aubrey Ultsch

Sophomore Roddie Rathman watching play during game against Grayslake North

A key to success during a big game is all about the preparations starting the week before. During the week, the Antioch Community High School football team practices daily and watches film to improve themselves during each week of the season. Even though the team practices everyday, the physical and mental preparations are even greater on game day.

Usually, the football players go to the trainers to get pre-game treatments. Whether it is putting on tape or getting ice, the trainer’s room is a common hot spot for the team.

“I go into the trainer and usually just get my ankles taped because it’s better for stability when I can make cuts on defense, and I am actually able to go after ball carriers,” sophomore Roddie Rathman said. 

When the players are able to get these quick tune-ups before a game, it can really help their performance. Another big physical factor is what these athletes eat to fuel up their bodies before the big game. 

“I’m a big Fruit by the Foot guy, and I especially like Fruit Roll-Ups,” junior Nick Day said.

The parents of these athletes provide food and snacks for the team every Friday before games. These quick meals can range from pasta to fried chicken  it is subject to change depending on the week. 

The tone for each game starts in the locker room. From getting their teammates into the right mindset or blasting the best hype songs, each athlete does something a little different. Music is a large part of pre-game preparation. 

“It changes a lot, but definitely ‘Family Ties’ by Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem is the song that really gets me hyped up,” Rathman said. 

Preparing individually is unique for everyone, but having the entire team on the same page is even more important. Usually each player does something to help their teammates get into the right mindset. 

“I like to make sure my teammates are staying focused and not worrying too much about the moment of the game,” junior Aiden Van Alstine said. 

Each athlete has a different routine that works for them, but as long as these athletes are getting the job done on the field, their preparations are all that matters.