Habits can be, well, habit-forming.
Depending on who you talk to, it takes anywhere between 10 and 21 days to turn something into a habit.
It’s all about mindset, training and will.
The Martinsburg football program has created and embraced a very strong, hypnotic kind of lifestyle.
It’s called winning state championships.
It is becoming a habitual habit, if there is such a thing.
For three straight years, the Bulldogs have been one of the top seeds in the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs and sliced through the competition like Ray Rice on a fourth-and-29 screen pass.
And for three straight years, the first Thursday of December, nestled between Thanksgiving and Christmas, has become a local holiday — complete with a feast of cake and a celebration of thanks to a team that continues to excel in big moments.
In this season of giving, the Bulldogs have made a habit of taking.
Taking bows, that is.
The latest curtain call came on Thursday, when a modest crowd turned out at Martinsburg High’s gym to congratulate the champions.
It was a three-peat. Usually, anything said three times in a row is considered stuttering.
This was stunning.
“This seems to be becoming an annual celebration at Martinsburg High School,” said principal Trent Sherman in his opening remarks.
Like homing pigeons, family, friends, fans and followers of the Bulldogs have been more than happy to make the yearly roost at the gym.
The first time was cool. The second time was great. The third time was a habit.
This third time had a stranger — maybe more fulfilling — feel to it.
The 2012 Bulldogs were missing all the big-name stars that led them to the first two championships, and they still managed to win the title rather easily.
“Last year, it was those seniors that got us the ring,” said one of this season’s seniors in a video reviewing the season that was shown during the ceremony. “This year, we got ours.”