CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When most people think of sports, they think of the game. They usually don't think about what the players do before game time, though.
Rituals and lucky tokens are an important part of sports. A basketball player may feel as if she needs her lucky socks to play right whereas a football star may need to do a stretch to make sure he is fresh and ready for the game ahead.
Braxton County High School freshman soccer player Quinn Hopen participates in many things before games with her team.
"We warm up together as a team, and we gather in a prayer circle," said Hopen. "Then we do 'team-on-three.'"
"Team-on-three" is where the players and coaches gather in a huddle and everyone puts a hand in the center. Then someone, usually a captain or coach, counts down from three and the whole team says, "team." Some teams may say the school's mascot name or "win."
Soccer isn't the only sport at Braxton High that gathers in a prayer circle. The cross country team, which went to the state competition this fall, also participates in a prayer circle.
"All of the girls usually pray before line-up for the races. I usually say my own little prayer also," said sophomore cross country runner Kate Golinsky.
Even the coaches get in on the action. The golf team's coach, Matt McMillion, prays for the team to ensure they are safe and they enjoy themselves.
"I want the kids to have a good time, so I pray for them," he said. "And we eat together as a team before the matches, of course."
Although McMillion has a ritual, he doesn't consider himself superstitious.
"I have faith," he said. "As long as I have faith, I don't need to be superstitious."