When people see bleach blonde heads bobbing through the hallways at Kennedy, it can be assumed they swim. The men’s swim team keeps up the tradition by bleaching their hair a few weeks before districts thats is Feb. 2 this year, at the Mercer pool in Iowa City.
“They’ve been bleaching their hair ever since I can remember,” Math teacher and head men’s swim coach, Shawn Thomsen said.
Mostly every swimmer bleaches their hair, but freshman play a special part. Every varsity swimmer is assigned a freshman to give a crazy cut too. These crazy haircuts are only for freshman. They wear them for 2 days before all the swimmers shave their heads.
“We make it look as bad as we can before we shave it off,” Andy Hansen, sr., said.
The parents organize it, by providing and setting up the bleaching products. Even some of the girls swim team members come and help the boys.
This tradition is always done before the district meet. After the boys have worn their bleached hair for a few weeks they give the freshman the crazy cuts.Then they all shave their heads a couple days before districts.
No swimmer is technically required to bleach their hair by any coach.
“It’s not required, but you’re definitely pressured into doing it,” Alex Boomershine, sr., said.
This tradition is considered team bonding by the swimmers.
“ I think it’s cool just to walk through the hallways and see a lot of kids with bleached hair, and you know they swim,” Boomershine said.