Lucky Numbers

Athletes share the stories behind why they selected their jersey numbers

Gauri Manoj and Vincent Zhao

Sohni Tagirisa

Junior Sohni Tagirisa, right defender for the field hockey team, also draws inspiration for her number six from many sources. She first started wearing this number when she was a young soccer player. When first choosing her number, she chose six to pair with her friend who chose five because of an Indian dish called Chicken 65. She now feels as though she has a field identity as she has been called the number six throughout her field hockey career. 

“My field identity [makes me] feel more aware of the way I feel,” Tagirisa said. “[It] feels more like a adaptable version of me that also has a close knit bond with my team”

Austin Hwang

Senior and Boys Basketball point guard Austin Hwang shares that in Japanese culture, the number four — 四 — is often avoided due to its similarity with the Japanese word for “death.” With this superstition in mind, Hwang chose the number four jersey to help himself unlearn the negative connotations of the number, teaching him to appreciate his opportunities rather than fear death. 

I think it’s a core reminder that eventually things have to come to an end, which is why we should value our time that we have right now,” Hwang said. “There are definitely moments in the past where I wish I could have said more to someone who passed away. I felt like it was always kind of weird that you have to say all these wonderful things about how great of a person or how much they meant to you after [they die], so you should say it now before it’s too late.”

Lisa Smith

Sophomore middle on the Girls Volleyball team Lisa Smith gets inspiration for her jersey number from her sister. In middle school, her sister, Kate Smith, started to play volleyball as number 11 because her birthday is May 11. Before this year, Smith wore number 26 for her own birthday, but this year she switched to number 11, to honor her sister after she went to college. 

“I guess having [my sister’s] number makes her feel close to me since she’s far away,” Smith said. “ [I] just miss hanging out with her and talking about life.”

Rohit Pamidi

When junior and quarterback Rohit Pamidi joined the Football team his freshman year, MVHS alum ‘21 and former quarterback Simon Loeffler became his mentor. The lack of in-person practices during remote learning motivated Loeffler to invite the players to the park or an open football field outside of school to hone their plays and routes. When Pamidi returned to the team in sophomore year, he chose to be number five as a tribute to Loeffler’s old jersey number.

“I decided to pick number five because of how much [Loeffler] taught us and what he did for me and my friends,” Pamidi said. “After picking my number, five became my favorite number.”