Trey Greene always has been a superstitious person, but he has taken it to a new level this season.
The Chapin defensive tackle went from sitting in the same spot on buses to road games and taping his hands in a different way to eating crickets before Eagles’ games this year.
Since Greene ate a cricket before Chapin played Brookland-Cayce on Sept. 16, the Eagles have won nine consecutive games and are playing Hartsville on Friday night in the Class 4A Lower State championship game. It’s the first time Chapin has reached the state semifinals since 1987.
“They are kind of crunchy,” said Greene, who usually chugs some water right after eating one. “A few were bad, but they are just really crunchy.”
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Chapin’s cricket-eating ritual actually began last year when lineman Brennan Zeigler started doing it on occasion, and Greene picked up the mantle this year. The first time he ate a cricket was before a game against Mid-Carolina when one appeared on his shoulder pads.
Greene, who is third on the team with 76 tackles, didn’t eat one for a couple of weeks, and Chapin lost its second game of the year. But he hasn’t missed again since before the Eagles played Brookland-Cayce.
Greene and his teammates usually find the crickets on or near Chapin’s field. One time they had go down to Chapin’s practice field to find one.
Greene said he and the team got a little worried before they played Airport when a cricket wasn’t found. But ateammatefound one in Airport’s locker room, and he ate it about 20 minutes before the start of the game.
Greene ate his cricket for this week’s game early in the week.
“Wherever they find one, they give it to me and I eat it,” Greene said. “I know it doesn’t effect the outcome of the game, but it takes our nerves out of it and makes us confident every week.”
Greene recently told his family of his pregame tradition and they were a little worried about it, but not enough to make him want to stop.
Chapin coach Justin Gentry can relate to Greene and his other players’ superstitious because he used to be that way. As an assistant at Marlboro County, he would have to win playing solitaire on his computer each week during the Bulldogs’ 15-0 state championship season in 1998. There was one time Gentry hadn’t beaten the game before Marlboro played Sumter, and Marlboro head coach Dean Boyd made him go back in the office until he did it.
Gentry also used to keep a lucky rock in his pocket during games.
“I would make myself sick if I lost the rock,” Gentry said. “But stuff like that is all part of athletics and having a good time.”
If Chapin wins against Hartsville, Gentry said there won’t be any shortage of crickets at Greene’s disposal before next week’s state title game.
“It seems to be working for us right now. We will help him find one,” Gentry said. “I will go buy some crickets from the local store if we have to. We will have plenty to chose from for next week.”
SCHSL Football Playoffs
All Games at 7:30 p.m., Friday
Spartanburg at Boiling Springs
Fort Dorchester at Dutch Fork
South Aiken at South Pointe
Hartsville at Chapin
Chapman at Newberry
Dillon at Brookland-Cayce
Abbeville at Saluda
Batesburg-Leesville at Barnwell
McBee at Lamar
Hemingway at Lake View