Behind the scissors: The story of how Santa Clara University's cross-country team photos went viral

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Friday, September 30, 2022
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Started in 2014, taking goofy team headshots has been an annual tradition for SCU's men's cross-country team. This year, they went viral.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the 2022-23 Santa Clara University men's cross-country team pictures, the athletes are rocking some pretty bad haircuts. But, there's no rogue barber to blame.

Their self-imposed crazy styles are actually a yearly tradition.

But this year, a new banner may need to be hung up on campus honoring the 2022 men's cross-country team: most viral haircuts.

"We're getting so many comments, so many friends texting us, so many random people DMing us," Senior DeVonn Dupree said.

"This year, I think what made it take off was that we looked like genuine people that could really pull this off," Senior Harvey Chilcott said. "In other years, we've gone absolutely absurd."

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That's right, this year's pictures are not a one-off.

The tradition was born in 2014 as a simple team bonding experience.

The athletes grew out their hair two months before they returned from summer break to create the gems.

It's a rite of passage from the outgoing seniors to the incoming freshman.

"When you get recruited, you actually can see the pictures from years past and the year before," Dupree said. "Yeah, this is a big tradition that the guys will do. It's like a funny thing we do."

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"We thought it was a bit funny to have a joke with our family and friends, not take ourselves too seriously and be light-hearted," Chilcott said.

But, like their wild facial hair, it has grown over the years.

Crazy styles, silly smiles to Chilcott's bowl-cut mullet.

"We do a lot of home jobs with shaving our heads," Chilcott said. "You might have seen the pictures of me getting a haircut from Devon, putting a bowl over my head and using primary school scissors to just cut."

And apparently, social media thinks it and all the cuts turned out amazing!

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The team has gained national attention with posts everywhere shouting out all the wild styles.

"It just shows who we really are, like we don't mind being goofy and we are pretty goofy people and just take ourselves light-hearted," Chilcott said. "It's just a lot of fun to do with the team."

The key word in this tradition is team.

They say they don't do the cuts for the social media clicks, it's all about a bond that spreads onto the track.

"People think running is an individual sport, but everything we do is for the next person and it shows how committed we are," Dupree said. "And how committed we are with our mustaches is the same how committed we are to the team."

And that is what we call dedication.

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