Nearly every athlete has a special tradition, piece of equipment or pregame ritual. Each week during the winter season, Prince George's Extra will explain why a county athlete has chosen one.

This Week: The Oxon Hill Swim Team

Why do some of the Oxon Hill swimmers wear neon yellow shirts to school on Fridays?

It is a tradition first-year coach Steve Holskey started to help raise the profile of the Oxon Hill swim team. Each week, the Oxon Hill swim captains present two swimmers with the bright yellow shirts that have "Oxon Hill Swim Team" written on the front and "Swimmer of the Week" on the back. Every swimmer who receives a shirt over the course of the season is supposed to wear the shirt to school on Friday, the day before the team has its dual meets.

"We started doing it because on Friday, all people talk about is basketball," Holskey said. "The kids all say that [the shirts] are ugly, but that's the intent. When they wear it, people know that they're swimmers."

What do the swimmers think?

"Everybody hates them because they're ugly and too bright," said junior John Shamburg. "If you have to wear one, you put it four shirts deep so you can only see a bit of the yellow at the neck. I don't know why coach got them."

"I think that they're quite encouraging," senior Amanda Farias said. "It makes you work hard. A lot of people think that they're ugly, but I disagree. I think they're a good idea."

Tell Us Why

Do you know a Prince George's County high school athlete with a special game-day tradition or lucky piece of equipment--and an interesting story behind it? If so, Prince George's Extra would like to hear about it. Call Camille Powell at 301-952-1220 or e-mail her at

CAPTION: Oxon Hill swimmers Bryson Stewart, left, and John Shamburg display neon yellow T-shirts dreamed up by Coach Steve Holskey to draw attention to program in a school where basketball is popular.