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The Story of the Stickers: How the Helmet Decals Motivate Players

Evan Newman
Junior defensive back Luke Kuechler waits with his teammates to run out onto the field ahead of Rockhurst’s game against Liberty North on Sept. 8, 2023.

If you happen to be at Severino Field on Friday night, you will notice many of the Hawklet’s classic white helmets covered with little stickers. These stickers have decorated the helmets of Hawklet football players for decades. They serve as symbols of success and dedication. 

The simplest way for players to gain these coveted stickers is to win games. Each member of the varsity and junior varsity teams earns four stickers for each varsity win. According to head Coach Kelly Donohoe, it is important for the whole team to receive stickers, not just the varsity team. 

“We’re all in this thing together,” Donohoe said. “The JV guys are helping us win, so I just think that’s the right thing to do.”

There are also ways for the team to earn extra stickers each week. They can do this by accomplishing extraordinary feats or achieving specific goals that were determined by the team before the game. For example, the Hawklet defense held Ray-Pec’s offense scoreless in Week 1, so the team received an extra two stickers.

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If you look very closely, you will notice that some players have an extra four stickers stuck on their helmet. These stickers have dumbbells on them, and they are given to the players who did a great job in the weight room over the offseason. This is a new tradition that Donohoe brought to the team this year. These stickers were meant to serve as motivation for members of the team to prioritize lifting in preparation for the season.

“I just wanted to reward guys for excellence,” Donohoe said. “We had about 60 guys that really made a great commitment. I wanted something they could put on their helmets for a sense of pride for their offseason.”

Senior safety Micah Oder appreciated the opportunity to earn more stickers.

“It just encouraged us to get in the weight room. We knew that we had to get stronger going into this season, so [the stickers] really kept us accountable with that. It put a little extra pressure on us to make sure we got all of our lifting days in.”

The players on the team earn the right to wear the stickers, and the sticker tradition has earned the players’ approval. Senior running back Aidan Ryan hopes to get as many stickers as possible before the season ends.

“Hopefully our helmets are full of stickers as the weeks go on,” Ryan said. “That means we’re winning games, which makes the whole process better for everyone.”


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About the Contributor
Mitch Forbes, Staff Reporter
What’s up? I’m Mitch Forbes. I am a senior and this is my second year writing on the Prep News staff. I joined the staff last year to help improve my essays in my English classes. However, I learned that the whole process of writing a story was actually pretty fun. I enjoyed it so much last year that I chose to do it over again. Student journalism also looks good on college applications, which doesn’t hurt. I am also a part of the football and basketball teams here at Rockhurst. I am undecided on where I want to attend college, but I plan on studying either journalism or business wherever I go.
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