WINNSBORO — Friday night the Fairfield Central Griffins look to become the third team in school history to win a state championship. Fielding competitive athletic teams fuels a community’s pride, but those teams need support to enable success in relationships, life and athletics.
The Griffins this year have had an extra motivation thanks to the support of the Proud Parents Group, the school’s version of a booster club. The Proud Parents Group supported not only the Upper State Champion Griffins but also the school’s undefeated junior varsity squad.
Part of that support is carrying on a tradition.
In the second year of Fairfield Central High School — 1987 — the cake night tradition formed. Since that time a dessert night for the players morphed into an evening including a full course meal. Every Tuesday following a Griffin’s victory on Friday night, the parents and supporters put on a cake night.
As extra support at away games, the proud parents supplied the junior varsity and varsity teams with a bag suppers of sandwiches, chips, Gatorade and pie.
Terry Milton, president of the group, said one of the most rewarding parts was the appreciation the students showed for what they were given.
This year the parents group grew from five to six active members to a group of well over 40 members. That extra support and the team’s success are not an accident, according to Milton.
“It was great to see the smiles on the kids faces and hear them say thank you,” Milton said. “We are just grateful we can be there for the kids.”
She, like most of the members, has a child either on the junior varsity or varsity team.
Her son Tyron White is on the varsity team as are her two godsons Javaris and Tavaris Cook.
“This is a special group. It really touched my heart when they won Friday night,” Milton said.
The Proud Parents Group also held dinner for senior football players, cheerleaders and their parents this fall on senior night. Their support would not have been possible were it not for fund-raising efforts such as a 50/50 raffle and for donations from individuals and the town.
The Proud Parents Group will prepare bag suppers for the team for Friday night’s game and also will serve the team a pregame meal of fried chicken, dirty rice, string beans, cake and rolls. That meal has become a ritual for this group all season so they saw no need to change the menu now.
The Proud Parents Group thanked the Town of Winnsboro, Harry Heath, Davis Anderson and Sam B. Arnette for financial support of their efforts. Milton also thanked all school bus drivers in Fairfield County for their support. Milton drives the athletic trainers to the away games.
“We have had the most community turnout at games this year,” Milton said, “and we want to encourage even more parents support next year.”