EDGAR, Wis. – A sign of the Edgar football team’s postseason success this fall can be found on both sides of Alec Hafferman’s head.
Two stripes have been shaved into the senior’s head, just above his ears, and a third will added after a team dinner Thursday night. The stripes match the number of wins the Wildcats have in the WIAA playoffs so far.
Hafferman hopes to add a fourth stripe to that collection as the fourth-seeded Wildcats travel to Eau Claire on Friday to face Bangor in a Division 7 state semifinal matchup at Carson Park.
“We are just trying to have fun,” said Hafferman, a running back/defensive back for the Wildcats. “Every level (of the playoffs) we have won, we add another step (to the side of the head),. It’s like another step (in the postseason run).”
The look is working so far, as Edgar is making its deepest postseason run since 2014 and is a win away from the program’s 11th appearance in a state championship game and the first since 2010. The Wildcats carry a 9-3 record into Friday’s matchup with undefeated and top-seeded Bangor.
Hafferman is not the only Edgar player with the racing stripes, or steps, shaved into their head. The majority of the team has them as a complementary piece to the mohawk or mullet hairstyles players have sported since before the postseason started.
The haircuts are part of a tradition for Edgar players. It’s a look previous teams have had before this group suited up for the Wildcats. The cuts have been a way for the players to show unity in the chase for a state championship.
“When I was growing up and a team manager I know the 2009 and 2010 teams both did it and they were very successful,” Hafferman said of the Wildcats most recent championship seasons. “We just wanted to keep that tradition going. Some of players say, ‘You can’t win (a title) without a mohawk.’ Just cheesy quotes like that. We are just trying to have a little bit of fun (with the postseason).”
The team stylist is sophomore quarterback/defensive back Karson Butt’s mom, Kari.
“She’s my aunt and my neighbor and just comes over to my garage and cuts all of our hair,” Hafferman said.
“We’ve talked about even our dads getting a mohawk,” Edgar senior Shawn Bunkelman said.
No Edgar coach has sported a mohawk yet. Perhaps that will change if Edgar wins Friday and earns a trip to the state championship game at Camp Randall Stadiumnext week.
“Maybe,” Edgar senior Tyler Matysik said. “Right now the coaches are just growing mustaches right now. That’s about it. But we could maybe talk a few of them into (a mohawk).”