A one-liner from the first post-game interview of the football season for first-year Indian River High School placekicker/punter Tristen Hood has found its way onto a T-shirt.
Responding to a videotaped question posted on the Coastal Point sports Facebook page about the Stephen Decatur High School coaching staff’s attempt to “ice” him (sports vernacular for disrupting a kicker’s concentration), Hood responded, “You can’t ice the kicker if he’s already iced. I know how to deal with pressure, and I did it,” he said of connecting for the field goal. “You just have to think of it as the team needs you right here, it’s a big moment, and nothing else.”
The “ice the kicker” line soon began materializing on green T-shirts at football games and at the school.
“My boy is such a [witty person],” said Norman Hood, Tristen Hood’s father. “He’s always the center of attention, and that’s what he did with the interview.” At first, Norman Hood said, “I thought it was disrespectful. But people” who saw the interview posted on Facebook “loved it.”
“My wife Carrie and I decided we wanted to put it out there, because it was a big hit,” the elder Hood added. “We have a large crowd” of between 10 and 15 family members “who come out to support Tristan in football and soccer, including traveling to away games. We wear the shirts to football games” in support of Hood’s kicking exploits.
Norman Hood admitted that he initially was joking about printing up the shirts.
“I frequently have shirts made for my company,” he said of his construction firm. “Carrie purchased a Cricut,” he explained of the crafting-staple cutting machine, “and the next thing you know, she’s printing the shirts. We’ve made about 30 of them, and Tristen has distributed several to his classmates in school.”
The Hood cheering section, which includes Tristen’s younger brother, Logan (a freshman JV soccer player), grandparents, cousins and close friends, usually arrives en masse for soccer and football home and away games.
“We are new to the football community, but they have really welcomed us,” said Norman Hood. “You can feel the energy when the football crowd gets going.
“In soccer, these are people [our kids] grew up with — Tristen’s been playing with most of these kids for 10 years, so this is like two giant families we have,” added Hood. “The soccer folks are amazing, because every parent out here supports every other kid,” not just their own, “regardless of how successfully the team is performing in the game.”
Norman Hood said he has noticed the rapid growth of student-section attendance.
“When we started attending games here four years ago, there would be a few students attending the matches,” he recalled. “Now, the student section is filling up, and there are more people in the bleachers. Even when we travel to away games, there are more people attending our games there as well.”