When bad haircuts help a football team

As the Kansas State football team got deeper and deeper into fall training camp, coaches decided to reward players with a handful of shorter practices and a pool party.

That gave the Wildcats extra time to unwind and relax. It also gave them time away from the football field in which to bond as a group.

“Coach let us get our legs back and off the field a little bit,” said senior safety Tysyn Hartman. “We had the chance to come closer together as a team.”

Still, none of that could compare to what helped K-State players become better friends while living together in dorms: Haircuts.

Bad ones. Horrific looks you only allow when you know your head will be covered up with a helmet most of the time.

“Everybody new to camp got one,” senior cornerback David Garrett said. “Some of us made players look kind of presentable. A few people on offense just gave buzz cuts. The defense gave a bunch of forest cuts around the head. They were pretty bad.”

Who got it worst?

“I will say the best one was one I gave Jarard Milo,” Garrett said. “He had a flash bolt in his head and ‘kick me’ in the back of his head. He had to wear that for part of camp. It was pretty funny.”

Hartman remembers being on the receiving end of one of those haircuts as a freshman. Today’s newcomers were much more receptive to them than he was.

“Our last night in the dorms we stayed up a little bit past curfew just giving people crazy, wild haircuts,” Hartman said. “That’s something we’ve done in the past just a little bit, but that’s something we really got into this year. The guys were receptive to it, surprisingly. We knew it wasn’t going to be a big deal. We don’t see anyone in camp besides each other. So it’s not like they had anyone to impress.”

That laid back attitude spread throughout the team. The hope is it will now help on the football field.

“I would say the whole team has bonded from the start of camp, and we’re ready to go,” Garrett said. “It’s just more fun. We’ve done a lot more things together that we never used to do in my time here.”