Somewhere in a storage shed at Littleton High School sit two or three sledgehammers, past their glory days on the gridiron, sent away for retirement.
They are well-traveled and each decorated differently, but they’re a part of the same hard-hitting Tiger tradition.
Back in 2006, former Littleton running back Reed Harasimowicz suggested to coach Mike Lynn that the team start a new “fun” tradition: lug a sledgehammer to each game and award it to one player that had the defensive play of the game or the biggest hit.
Harasimowicz got the idea from his older brother, whose college team would do that.
The player gets to keep the hammer for a week and carve his name into the wooden handle.
“It’s a fun way to break the huddle on a Friday night following the game,” said Lynn. “It’s a tradition that makes kids, you know, want to be ‘that guy.’ ”
“Hitstick,” the name of this year’s hammer, has already been carved a dozen times by players, including Alex McLaughlin, Steve Collins, Andy MacGregor, Matt Jackson, Travis Bassett, Brad Magnuson, Ryan Clark, and last week’s recipient, Elijah Pyram, who gets to hold on to it for some heavy hitting he dished out on a 15-yard rush in the Thanksgiving win against Ayer Shirley.
“It’s cool,” said Pyram, who also won the honor once last season. “I don’t think it’s weird. It’s tradition: Sledgehammer just symbolizes big hit.”
Although Pyram wasn’t using it to fix things around the house for a week, his mother, Sue, was happy to see he had it.
“She was proud,” said Pyram. “She had to take a picture of me with it, she had to tell all my uncles and stuff.”