The magical fruit
February 2, 2020
Before every wrestling meet, junior Zae McPherson goes to the mat room and does the same warm up routine to get himself loose. Then he goes to the locker room to get his essentials. His shoes, his headgear and, of course, his lucky can of El Paso Refried Beans.
That beat up can is the wrestling team’s good luck charm, and they’ve been sure to bring it to every meet.
“The [other wrestlers] just thought it was funny when I said, ‘Alright guys this is our good luck,’” McPherson said.
It began one day when McPherson was eating his lunch in head wrestling coach Justin Peña’s office when he noticed the bright yellow can of beans. He asked Peña if he could have it to eat later, and Peña agreed without much thought.
McPherson’s hunger passed, so he spent his next period tossing the can around, making the dents even worse and adding a few of his own. He left it in his locker, but when his friends saw it, they decided together to bring the can to all of their tournaments as good luck.
“The minute we decided we were going to take it everywhere everyone was on board instantly,” senior Logan Manuel said.
Besides being good luck for the team, this dented and now label-less can has a second purpose.
“It has just kept things light,” Manuel said. “The nerves before a match are crazy because it’s just you and the other person, so that is super intense. Well now there’s just this random can — you can’t even say it without laughing.”
While Peña recognizes the comedy in the can, he believes their training has led to this year’s great season.
“I like to think their skills are getting better,” Peña said. “If they see this as a comedic relief to their nerves and fear before they wrestle, go for it.”
Even though he doubts the beans’ magical abilities, Peña has won his first trophy in the three seasons since he began. After winning their second trophy from Flower Mound, the team is hopeful to make it to state. Beans must really be the magical fruit.