EVERETT – For the past three seasons, the Gonzaga Prep High School football team in Spokane had a 12th member of its defensive unit: Chris Kuhar-Pitters’s hair.
The lineman hadn’t gotten a haircut in three years, so his mane grew from a neat ‘do to an uncontrollable flow that required constant maintenance. On game days, he wore a ponytail that poked out of the back of his helmet and seemed to take on a personality of its own.
As of today, the familiar look will be gone. Kuhar-Pitters, who played his final high school contest in the East-West All-Star Game on Saturday, has a haircut party scheduled in preparation for his departure to the Naval Academy. His friends will do away with the hair that Kuhar-Pitters has neglected over the years.
“They can do what they want, a Mohawk or whatever,” Kuhar-Pitters said, “and then I have a friend who’s a barber who will do the rest.”
Kuhar-Pitters hasn’t had a haircut since his freshman year, when a female student commented on how much she loved his locks. He begins basic training on Wednesday, so he figured he would speed up the process by letting his friends cut his hair.
Kuhar-Pitters said he was encouraged to get his hair cut prior to graduation earlier this month, but he put it off to play one final football game with the trademark ponytail hanging out.
“I’m hoping I don’t lose my power,” he joked, referring to the biblical character Samson, who lost his strength after Delilah cut his hair.