CGHS Front Row: Outside the Huddle
Writer / Leigh Lawson
Being on the Center Grove High School football team demands hard work, intensity and dedication. There are summers with two grueling practices a day that lead to promising seasons. Coach Moore and staff are proven masters at building championship teams. Yet, there is so much more to the season that goes unseen to the average game attendee. Like every high school sport or activity, it involves parental involvement to help orchestrate everything from fundraising to feeding the team. Having the football team parent label is not for the faint of heart. It also takes hard work and dedication.
Football parents support the team, build community, honor traditions and create memorable fun. High school football has a Parents Club that includes a board for leadership. Each class will also have a “Head Mom” who helps to distribute the necessary information and to organize events. The parents meet monthly throughout the off-season for planning. Weekly meetings are held during the football season, where that week’s game and events are discussed. Coach Moore will attend to share highlight film and to discuss the upcoming game.
Fundraising is a large part of any school activity. The football parents organize and volunteer for the annual Center Grove Craft Fair as just one of the team fundraisers. There is also an event that draws 25 schools from across the state to play seven on seven and participate in lineman challenges. Along with these events, there are the car washes and raffles held to support the senior class in their final CGHS football year.
Senior parent Cathy Shiley is enthusiastic and sentimental when asked about being a football parent and all that is involved. The event that is most cherished by the team, parents and coaches is the fundraiser, Camp Ability. The team and CGHS cheerleaders hold a camp for special needs children to learn football and cheerleading skills. There they have one-on-one teaching and connecting with the children. Shiley says, “(It) really showcases where their hearts are.”
When asked about team traditions, Shiley tells of the great fellowship that comes with Friday night home games. Team parents prepare epic tailgating meals that feed the team and then the game crowd. All are welcome. The tailgating party is in the Spirit Pavilion, which is located at the south end zone. The parents also prepare the field for the team’s game-time entrance by inflating the giant football helmet and starting the crowd-rousing music. After the game, parents flock to the field and encircle the team as Coach Moore delivers a post-game speech.
The support goes beyond and deeper than all of the fundraising and game-time traditions. Team moms meet weekly on Wednesdays to pray for their sons and the team. The team fathers meet on Thursdays for their time to pray for the team. It shows the depth of their love for their sons, each other’s sons, coaches and the entire CGHS football family. The CGHS Football Parents Club is a family that creates lasting bonds and endearing memories. They reach out to the community to share in their gridiron season of fun.
Football families start from Bantam Days to Senior Recognition Night. There are years of being together outside the huddle with much enjoyment and anticipation in watching the boys grow into men. The Friday nights are about bonding while watching their favorite team. Shiley describes it as a machine that needs tons of work but is certainly worth it. Her advice for freshman parents is to stay involved. “The four years FLY…so hang on and enjoy!”