The new athletic dress code: A spirited look for LFA sports practices


Photo by Kirstin Palasz

Ferdoss Ibrahim ‘22 (left) and Beverly Fishman ‘23 (right) wearing their new LFA athletics t- shirts.

Kirstin Palasz and Ava Trandel

    Athletics at Lake Forest Academy have been changing for the better. Over time, the athletics department has been making strides to improve school unity with athletics. One of those major changes includes the new dress code. 

    All LFA athletes are now required to wear school colors: black, orange, white, and grey. That means no matter what athletes wear to practice, it must be one of the colors or an LFA t-shirt. Athletes are no longer allowed to wear any other schools name or colors. 

    When talking about why this change came about, Athletic Director, Darrin Madeley, said “It was all about pride. I was tired of seeing other high schools represented when it should have been LFA represented.”  Since LFA is trying to increase their school spirit, wearing other schools colors makes it very difficult for the school to feel pride. 

    Ackim Mpofu, a history teacher and coach for JV boys soccer, shared his thoughts on the new athletics dress code by praising the idea and saying that it is great because, “it shows professionalism and boosts team spirit.” He also said that he believed the dress code will help prevent athletes from wearing gear from other high schools and colleges, which is another important part of raising team spirit and looking committed to one’s sport. 

    Since the dress code surrounds the idea of school pride, Madeley points out that wearing school colors all the time is an important aspect in getting school spirit to be higher. He mentioned how LFA doesn’t look uniform when “one kid is in a Loyola hoodie, one kid is in a Duke t-shirt, and another kid is in a New Trier Jacket.” He stressed that we don’t want to see other schools’ colors when an opposing team comes into our facilities. “You can wear it to the building but once you have practice you must wear black, orange, white, or grey.”. The best way to make sure the dress code is upheld is to ensure every student has something LFA to wear to their practices, to which each athlete was given LFA warmups, two T-shirts, and two pairs of shorts.

    However, some students and coaching staff have expressed drawbacks to the dress code. When asked to consider any drawbacks of this dress code, Mpofu mentioned how it is hard to enforce a specific dress code when athletes are given limited gear to work with. For new students, along with ones who are not able to purchase additional clothes to practice in, Mpofu described how the process of washing their practice clothes everyday or every other day is a task that some students would find to be time-inefficient and unrealistic. He added how laundry can also be costly, and not every student is in the position to spend money on doing laundry every day. There is a hope that as the year continues and in future years, athletes will continue collecting more LFA clothing items that are allowed at practice; this therefore would help solve the laundry issue. 

    If an athlete is not abiding by this code, a coach is allowed to implement consequences. Madeley said, “Coaches are supposed to send them back into the locker room to change or not participate in practice.” Mpofu mentions that not all coaches have a desire to enforce the practice dress code, so as the year continues, the process of how to enforce the dress code will continue to change.  

    On the other hand, many athletes are glad this dress code has been put in place. Beverly Fishman, a member of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team said, “At first, I felt it was going to be hard to find an LFA t-shirt for every day of practice. But now I actually like it because our team feels closer and we look so much better walking into games.”

    With all the new additions to LFA Athletics, the dress code is overall a very positive change for school pride. Madeley hopes that sports can not only continue this dress code, but also serve to make student spirit skyrocket.