Hair raising sports

“…I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied…”
– Hair by James Rado & Gerome Ragni


Stagg’s Leonardo Molina, left, and St. Mary’s Joseph Grider fight for the ball during a boys varsity soccer game at St. Mary’s in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ 5.6. ISO: 200).

Soccer players have the best hair of any athletes Sure, there some individuals in other sports who have great coiffs, but in general, the fanciest and most stylish are in soccer. Just think of David Beckham with his myriad of different and fashionable hairstyles. Hair-wise, soccer players are like the pop stars of the athletic world.


Stagg’s Armando Hernandez, right, and St. Mary’s Sawyer Hicks chase the ball during a boys varsity soccer game at St. Mary’s in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ 5.6. ISO: 200).

Football players wear helmets most of the time, so even if they did have great cuts, no one would be able to see them. Baseball players are always wearing ballcaps or batting helmets, so they’re in the same situation as football players.


Stagg’s Phillip Gallo,left, guards St. Mary’s Joseph Fields during a boys varsity soccer game at St. Mary’s in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ 5.6. ISO: 200).

Basketball players aren’t generally known for their fancy hairstyles. There are a few standouts, such as Dennis Rodman’s wild colors, Allen Iverson’s fanciful braids, or Dirk Nowitzki’s unruly mop, but a shaved head seems to be the prevailing style for many basketball players, perhaps the influence of players such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.


St. Mary’s Joseph Grider, left, and Stagg’s Armando Hernandez fight for the ball during a boys varsity soccer game at St. Mary’s in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ 5.6. ISO: 200).

For some reason tennis players’ hair is unremarkable. You’d think all the right ingredients are there: no required headgear and often flamboyant players. But very few tennis players are know for their hair.


Stagg’s Armando Hernandez, left, and St. Mary’s Moses Villarreal chase the ball during a boys varsity soccer game at St. Mary’s in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ 5.6. ISO: 200).

I recently I shot a boys varsity soccer game between Stagg and St. Mary High Schools. Many of the players sported haircuts that rivaled the pros. There were mohawks and faux-hawks, long flowing hair and closely cropped dos. Others were spiked and gelled down to their follicles.


St. Mary’s Moses Villarreal, top, and Stagg’s Armando Hernandez,leap to head the ball during a boys varsity soccer game at St. Mary’s in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ 5.6. ISO: 200).

Two of the most noticeable haircuts were worn by Stagg’s Armando Hernandez and St. Mary’s Moses Villarreal. Hernandez’s hair was braided into long and intricate shoulder-length corn rows that looked like it must have taken hours to do. The sides of Villareal’s head were closely shorn and topped with a short mohawk. Although they were also matched up against others, the two players often went head to head.

St Mary’s won, 2-1, in a hard-fought battle. The two teams continued a tradition of not only of playing hard but looking good as well.

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