Sock it to me
Teammates prefer tall stockings for their games
If you ask Jeff Hughes and Keith Wentz-Hall, it's all in the socks.
Both Tonganoxie High basketball players have been sporting knee-length socks during their games this season.
Hughes actually started the trend late last season, wearing long, white tube socks with a few horizontal red stripes.
This season, Wentz-Hall got into the act but wore his long Under Armour red socks.
"I have them for baseball," Wentz-Hall explained. "I just had them around. I guess I just decided to wear them, I don't even know."
Wentz-Hall, a junior, then coaxed Hughes, a senior, into wearing solid-colored socks, rather than, to use Wentz-Hall's term, "ugly throwbacks." Wentz-Hall wasn't a fan of Hughes' original socks, which were most popular in the '70s and '80s.
"Oh he started it last year, but I got him to finally look good in them," Wentz-Hall said.
For the season opener against De Soto in the Osawatomie Tournament, Hughes sported his retro socks, but Wentz-Hall persuaded him to change course after that first game. Hughes now borrows a pair of Wentz-Hall's red socks.
Other players, such as seniors Tyler Miles and Jordan Herron and junior Gabe Belobrajdic, wore long socks at the beginning of the year but opted for regular-length socks the rest of the way.
In fact, Wentz-Hall said he borrowed long white socks from Belobrajdic.
"He wasn't wearing them anyway," Wentz-Hall said.
Although the trend didn't catch on with the rest of the team, Hughes said he wasn't bothered.
"It wouldn't bother me if they did or didn't, whatever makes them comfortable," Hughes said. "Wearing long socks is comfortable for me."
When it comes to those long socks, the two teammates adopted an unofficial code for which pair to wear when. They wear their red socks with their home white jerseys and white socks with their road red uniforms.
The socks seemed to spark some good luck in the early going, as the Chieftains bolted to a 6-0 record at the start of the season. Heading into this week's games, THS was 10-8 with two games to play.
Hughes said he didn't plan to wear different socks with the regular season winding down and substate set to start next week.
"Yeah, because the socks are what got us here," Hughes said. "We just hit a slump. I'm probably not going to change it up."
Wentz-Hall said he'd stick with the same plan. His biggest problem, he admits, is remembering to pack those socks when he leaves home for games.
"I'm always leaving my socks at home, so I end up calling my parents to bring them up to me," Wentz-Hall said with a laugh. "I'm not really responsible about them."