The Touchdown club promoted a tailgating party for the community before practice and had great success with over 200 people visiting with friends, snacking on dips and finger foods and watching a video of the highlights from the 2012 season.
Team members said the presence of so many people helped raise their enthusiasm even higher.
“It made the Toppers excited and proud to see the stands filled with our fans to watch us,” said freshman Johnta Walker.
Junior quarterback Garrison Howell echoed Walker.
“Before last year, I’ve looked up in the stands and there was hardly nobody there,” Howell said. “(This time) there was a ton of people there just to watch a practice. It makes it a lot easier when you know the community is behind you.”
Once the clock struck 12, the Toppers hit the field for blocking and tackling drills, rotating through stations, and Coach William Cook was pleased with what he saw.
“The effort was good,” Cook said. “They were going hard and hitting. That’s what you like to see the first day in pads.”
Cook said although there were some glitches he felt they were minor and could be handled.
“We’ve got two weeks to clean things up,” Cook said. “The big thing is the effort and it was there.”
The excitement from the fans just fed the team’s enthusiasm even more.
“It felt real good to know we had support from everyone who came,” said sophomore Kevonta Marble. “Instead of them being in the bed, they came to watch us and it really means a lot. So we gave them what they came to see and we’ll continue doing that throughout the whole season.”
The Toppers are coming off their most successful season in school history, finishing up 11-3 in the third round of playoffs and they’re hoping to keep the momentum rolling.
“I’m excited to start the season and build off last year,” Howell said.
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About Lisa Voyles
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