Locker Room: The dirty dozen, plus a couple more

     It’s always nice when you come up with an idea, put a few good people together willing to make the effort, and it works. The Touchdown Classic worked last Saturday in Dobson Stadium. A great day of football in the hot sun. Very satisfying.

     It was a good day for the Pulaski County football program. It was also a beautiful setting. Dobson looked beautiful. There are few finer places to play high school football in this country. I’ve often wondered if Cougar players and fans realize how fortunate they are to have such a wonderful place to play. Kenneth J. Dobson had a vision, and he made it come true. It’s a wonderful place to spend an afternoon or evening watching high school football.

     But another aspect of the event was very impressive to me. You often here these days you wish the school administration and faculty would be more supportive of their high school teams, and more involved in community efforts to help fund their programs. To be honest, that aspect seems to have faded a bit over the years. Sometimes it seems like everybody thinks it’s a just a job, but I have always considered teaching, coaching, and being an administrator in a school system far more than just a job, and requires much more than just the normal eight hours and punch the clock. I’ve always considered it more of a profession than a job, and in some ways, I’ve considered the people involved in a school system community care takers to a degree.

     I’m proud to say we have some people just like that in Pulaski County. Saturday was rewarding, satisfying, and the Cougars looked good, played with enthusiasm. But at times I backed away and just watched. I watched the work of the “dirty dozen” and actually a couple more do the work, make the event work, and it was all done in the effort to support Cougar football. I saw high ranking officials getting their hands dirty, sweating in the hot sun, and stepping up when we needed them.

    I told Cougar head coach Stephen James he was lucky. How many head football coaches across the state had their school’s administration out working in the heat from the wee hours of Saturday morning until 3:30 in the afternoon? Bet you couldn’t find another one.

      Everybody was up at 5:45 am. Had to get the barbecue started, and had to make deliveries to the stadium by 8:15 am. Nobody missed a beat. Superintendent of Schools Kevin Siers cooking barbecue and carrying coolers, watching some football too. School Board chairmen Timmy Hurst doing the same, and also loading his truck with 50 bags of ice to cover 340 bottles of Gatorade. Vice Chairman of the School Board Mike Barbour cooking barbecue, carrying coolers and chairs in the hot sun, picking up propane. PCHS athletic director Scott Vest was a terrific help in a variety of ways, and we called on him frequently, everything from keys to tables, to trash cans, to stocking restrooms, and other stuff I cannot remember. Everybody did their job and more. Scottie Scott jumped up in the press box, kept fans informed all day. He didn’t have to. He just wanted to help. 

      I sincerely thank everyone of them. It was priority people in the Pulaski County School System out among the people trying to do something good to help the kids who were representing PCHS on the football field. It reminded me of the past, and it was a pleasant memory. Hats off to each one of them

     And then you have Jeff Phillips and members of his family. What a job, what a smell, and the food was great. He ran out. Didn’t have a paper plate left, not even a plastic fork. No question, next year we’ll have to cook more barbecue. It was hit, the fans loved it, but the hours of preparation, the mixing, hauling, loading and unloading, and standing over that hot grill. It takes a dedicated guy. Jeff Phillips is dedicated. And his granddaughter is a crackerjack and a heckuva sales person.

        And then you have two other fine young men, Nathan Roseberry and Clay White. Nathan and Clay manned the gates during the entire day, and remember, nobody is getting paid one red cent. They could have been boating on the lake, but two former Cougars were standing in the hot sun helping do something to support Pulaski County football. Thanks fellows, thank you very much.

     Then comes some old sidekicks of mine, friends, and supporters of Cougar football for over 30 years, Allen Roseberry, Erby Turpin, and Ward Angle. Unless you’ve tried to keep three football teams, something like 200 players, stocked with ice, water, pizza, Gatorade, take care of their locker room, and anything else they might need which is unpredictable,  you just don’t know what a day that is, but these three are old vets, and I rely on them very much. They did their usual excellent job, and laughed all the way, they loved it, but they were tired at end of the day, but still happy because the effort worked. Everything came together. 

      Allen Roseberry will probably be mad at me for saying this because he insists on not receiving any credit, but those 100 large pizzas that were provided for the teams Saturday, Allen and his company New River Valley Restaurant Services picked up the entire tab. Unless you have men like Allen Roseberry, and local businesses to help, you can’t pull off successful events. And a thank you to Pepsi for the Gatorade, and another old Cougar, Richie Hasson.

      I have always received too much credit. Without the people I’ve mentioned above, I couldn’t get a thing done. It takes good people. Saturday was a good day for the Pulaski County football program. Our next goal will be to make this same event better next year, and an even more successful day for the Cougar program. But to all the people I’ve mentioned above. I sincerely thank you. Each of you made last Saturday a really good day.

By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot