Friday Football Fever: Team breakfast

PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT)- Most high school students push the envelope when it comes to waking up during the week. If school starts at 8:00am, there’s no sense in waking up before 7:45, right?? Fridays in Pell City are not normal. The community churches take turns preparing breakfast for the Pell City High School football team and cheerleading squad. “We’ve probably been doing that for around fifteen years or so,” says football team chaplain Benny Bowman. “It’s kind of a cool thing to watch happen.”

It sounds like a thundering herd of elephants. The roar of trucks and squeal of jeep tires signal the beginning on the feeding frenzy. “Well, they consume a lot of food, no doubt,” says Bowman, with a laugh. The Pell City team is a big bunch, with some players weighing nearly 300 lbs.”It’s pretty intimidating,” says senior quarterback Jackson Williamson, eating with his offensive lineman. “But, I’m glad they’re eating. I like seeing big bodies protecting me.”

The team breakfasts aren’t just about free food. It’s a chance for teammates to come together and strengthen bonds in the wee morning hours. “Being a family, as a brotherhood, as a team,” says head coach Brooks Dampeer, “You can’t get enough opportunities to grow like this.” It also shows the Panther squad just how many people appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears they pour in over the summer and throughout the fall. “It really shows us the town supports us and everybody wants us to do well,” says Williamson. ”And we always like coming out in the morning.”

Wait. A high school student that LIKES waking up in the morning??? “I mean,” says Williamson laughing, ”for free breakfast, I think everyone does.”

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