“Well, I want the community to understand this is their football program. It’s not just West Stokes. It’s West Stokes, Chestnut Grove, and the Prowlers,” said Wildcats coach Jimmy Upchurch.
If they didn’t know it then, they should now. The athletes felt the love Friday night and into Saturday morning at West Stokes Midnight Madness.
Beginning at 10 p.m. hundreds of fans poured into the high school to play games like egg toss and relays, line dancing, and interact with this season’s athletes ranging from elementary to teenage football players and cheerleaders.
At midnight, when official practices kicked off athletes of all ages ran through the tunnel and spectators got a glimpse of what they’ll see on the field in weeks to come.
Chestnut Grove coach Jason Sammons said his athletes loved the experience of being out at night under the lights celebrating the start of a new season and year.
“We have very high expectations going into this fall and this was an exciting way to kick it off,” he said.
An added bonus Sammons said was his players understanding their community fully supports them.
“I also want the kids to see there are coaches excited about them playing in high school and will be watching their progress this fall,” he said.
Sammons and Upchurch both came to King in 2003 and the two have worked tirelessly to build a unified program.
Upchurch said, “These young ones are the future. We know if the Prowlers fall off, Chestnut Grove falls off and then we fall off. That’s why coach Sammons and I work hard to recruit for the Prowlers and get to know these kids. We start watching them at a young age because we know they’re going to do good things.”
We’ve got so many great people behind us and so much support in the community, Upchurch said.
“It’s going to be a good season.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.