West Seattle High School baseball coach Velko Vitalich gets a Mohawk after telling his team he'd get the haircut if they made the state playoffs. As you can see, they made it. PLEASE CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE
SLIDESHOW: Playoffs and a Mohawk; WSHS baseball coach makes good on his postseason promise
West Seattle High School baseball head coach Velko Vitalich and assistant coach Brian Tupper made a promise to their Wildcat squad a few weeks ago: You make the playoffs; you can give us Mohawk haircuts.
Well, guess what?
With a 2-1 victory over Liberty on May 16 and an upcoming 3A regional playoff game against Timberline on Saturday, May 19, the coaches’ fate was sealed.
The kids have gotten Mohawks at playoff time for years as a superstitious tradition, and Tupper said he would do it too if they kept on winning.
“(Tupper) said, ‘How about you coach?’ In one of my dumber moments I said, ya, I guess I could do that,” Vitalich said before the cut. “And now we are at State, so I guess I’ll have to pay up.”
“Hope it doesn’t look too bad because I have a banquet to go to Friday and a coaches’ meeting tonight, so probably a lot of hat wearing the next few days.”
PLEASE CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE
After some warm up laps, the team gathered around a Wildcat-branded chair and handed out some good-natured jabs as their coaches sat down for the unsanctioned haircuts.
Shortstop Luke Wiggins took the razor to Coach Tupper’s mop, while Assistant Coach Jim Bowe gave Coach Vitalich a more modest version of the ‘hawk.
Vitalich admitted he hadn’t told his wife about the bet, or the new haircut, and expressed a bit of anguish over that moment where he’ll have to take his ball cap off for the night.
“Alright, get back to practice,” Vitalich said to his team, donning a hipper haircut than he’s had in years. “We gotta go hit now.”
As for the playoff matchup this weekend: “We’re still alive, we still get to go to practice and that’s a great thing,” he said.
Coach Vitalich has been West Seattle’s skipper for the past 25 years, and graduated as an Indian (when that was the team identity) in the Class of 1973.
His team takes on Timberline on May 19, 11 a.m., at Bannerwood Field in Bellevue.
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