Athletes celebrate season with family

Falcon athletes celebrate holiday traditions.

Kyle Morrison, Staff Writer

Two men make expressions at a t.v. screen while a sports game plays
Jacky Chen
Ed Weise and Alden Massey watch a sports game together.

For many athletes, winter break will serve as a much needed pause from the rigors of team activities and academics. When these athletes finally get the chance to go home and see loved ones, they hope to be greeted with the familiarity of home-cooked meals and other home comforts that have eluded them for many months.


One aspect of home life that marks the holidays are Christmas traditions. Whether they are performed as a team or as a family, these traditions can be used to bring people together and reminisce on old memories. For some, these traditions are part of the very fabric of what makes the holidays special. 


Home cooking is always a welcome aspect of going home, but for freshman men’s basketball player Zack Paulsen, one meal holds a special significance during the holiday season. 


“My favorite holiday tradition is morning swedish pancakes made by my mom,” Paulsen said. “They’re pretty legit.”


Sports and family can also be intertwined during the holidays. “My family always has the basketball games on throughout the day,” freshman women’s volleyball player Lindsey Lambert said. The Lambert family also enjoys infusing competition into the holiday season. “We do a gift exchange at my grandparents’ house and my grandpa does this game and he makes it up every year,” Lambert said. “it can be trivia or anything he comes up with.”


It’s no surprise that athletes and families of athletes enjoy a little competition in each other’s company. Women’s basketball player Natalie Hoff’s family likes to take this competition to the next level. “We always play a big game of pictionary,” Hoff said. “It’s with my whole extended family.”


Freshman women’s soccer player AJ DePinto and her family have a tradition involving Santa Claus that happens annually. “On Christmas Eve we always take our santa pictures,” DePinto said. “We do it like every year … I don’t think we’ve had a year where we haven’t done it.”


For some athletes holiday traditions cross over with their team experience. Christmas team bonding and activities are good ways to build team chemistry and show appreciation for each other. Sophomore men’s soccer players Ed Weise and Aidan Chaparro have a fun christmas tradition they do with the Seattle Pacific University soccer team every year. 


“We go to tradition, we take a picture with Santa and then hangout as a team,” Weise said. 


“It’s like ‘friendsgiving’ except for Christmas,” Chaparro continued.


Still, sports like basketball, track and gymnastics will be training over the break — not wanting to lose anytime or ground as competition heats up in the new year. The Falcons basketball team will be playing games as late as Dec. 20 and will be back in action by Jan. 2, making their break an abbreviated one. Though shorter than for other students, winter break is still enough for student athletes to relax before their seasons ramp up when they return to campus.