Superstitions, good luck charms and pre-game rituals are all very common in sports, but one Mountaineer has a new rabbit’s foot. A football named Vicky.
West Virginia’s leading receiver Shelton Gibson has hauled in 12 catches for 329 yards and four touchdowns in just three games as a redshirt sophomore. Much of his recent success is credited to the chemistry between he and his quarterback and good friend, Skyler Howard.
And along came Vicky.
“I carry this ball everywhere I go,” said Gibson, following Saturdays 45-6 victory over the Maryland Terrapins. Gibson walked into post-game interviews with what was originally perceived as a game ball, but he quickly let the media in on his little secret.
“I can be in class, it don’t matter wherever I’m at I take this ball with me,” he said. “I been carrying this thing for a minute. Like, one day, Skyler (Howard) just came up to me and threw this ball in my hand and was like, “Always keep it with you.” He was like, “If it’s not with you, I’m gonna ask you about it.” It took me a little bit to start really just carrying it around all the time, he be like, “Where’s Vicky?” Her name is Vicky.”
Apparently, Vicky really is a good luck charm. Since the 2015-16 season began, Gibson and Howard have perfected their timing allowing the Mountaineer offense to thrive. Gibson is tied for 11th overall in the NCAA for touchdown catches this season.
“Him (Gibson) and Skyler (Howard) got really good chemistry right now,” Holgorsen said during his post-game presser. “We all know that they’re buddies and everything but the timing those two kids got going on right now is, I anticipate will only get better.”
If you see Shelton Gibson anywhere around the West Virginia University campus, you can expect to see Vicky in tote.
“He’s like where’s Vicky, where’s Vicky?” and I’ll be like, “I think she’s in the car.” We’ll be in, like, meetings and he’ll tell me to go get the ball. So, I just carry it around,” said Gibson.
Cover photo credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS