Athletes have a variety of reasons for choosing the number they wear on their backs.
It might be because an idol wears it, or an older sibling wore it, or they just like the number for whatever reason.
One number, though, is rather rare, at least in the Mid-Columbia Conference: 13.
Until this week only three wide receivers wore it.
Considered the unluckiest number for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- 13 people at the Last Supper, one of which would betray Jesus
- Witches were claimed to gather in groups of 12 and during such ceremonies, the devil would appear as the 13th attendee.
- Traditionally, 13 is the number of steps leading up to a gallows
- Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission
So why do Kamiakin’s Brandon Searls, Southridge’s Daniel Getchell and Kennewick’s Brock Sittman all wear a number with so much ill repute?Mainly because of chance.
“It is one lower than my basketball number and 14 wasn’t available,” said Getchell, who is playing high school football for the first time as a senior. “It was lucky 13 when I first got it, just because most people think it is unlucky.”
In his first career game last week, Getchell had a reception and played solid minutes at safety, so perhaps it is lucky for him after all.
For Searls, it is a family tradition.
“My brother (Anthony) played and wore it, so it is just a routine,” Brandon said. “I’m not exactly sure why he wore it. I never really thought about all the bad luck stuff. I’ve never had bad luck from it. I’ve always done my best with it.”
Perhaps it is only unlucky for Alex Rodriguez and witches.
Sittman was assigned his number while playing baseball.
“I got it my freshman year and stuck with it,” the junior said. “I got it for a tournament and I did pretty good and I decided to hold onto No. 13 and see if it was good luck.
“People ask me why I wear it and say it is bad luck. I just tell them it is my number. It’s good luck so far — I’ve been doing pretty good.”
Sittman saw time at both safety and receiver last week for the Lions and figures to be on the varsity baseball team this spring. So far, he has not experienced any unlucky issues because of it.
Hanford head coach Rob Oram doesn’t let his players find out whether it is good or bad luck to don the number, joking that he does so because no one around the area is worthy enough to wear Dan Marino’s number.
That is until his new quarterback Aaron Enderlin’s pads proved too big for the No. 4 he wore last week.
Given the choice between 13 and 16, Enderlin chose the former.
“I think Thor Buchanan was the last one to wear it,” Oram said of his tight end from 2008. “Some kids want it because they want to prove it’s not unlucky. I eliminate it because it is more trouble than it is worth.”
Enderlin might just consider the number lucky now, as he threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin on the other hand lets kids decide what jersey they wear.
“Any returning senior gets first dibs, then the returning juniors and the returning sophomores,” he said. “Some just randomly choose. Dylan Keech said just give me any number. Kylle (Robertson) has worn (the No.) 2 all his life. They all have their reasons.”
And tonight these brave souls will really test their luck, wearing the dreaded 13 on Friday the 13th.