The York community is known for its passion for high school football; fans turn out in large numbers to cheer their beloved Cougars.
With Saturday’s Class AAAA Division 11 state-championship showdown with Spartanburg approaching, fan support has reached a fever pitch.
York Comprehensive High School Principal Christopher Black said he is eagerly awaiting the big game.
“There’s a lot of excitement for the football team,” said Black. “A sense of pride exists among the band, cheerleaders, students, ROTC, trainers and fans.”
Black said York, while on the road, “had as many fans as Greenwood last week and hope to take twice or three times as many to Columbia.”
“We are a one-school community with a proud fan base,” he said.
YCHS Athletic Director Steve Boyd also said that “Saturday’s state-championship game is great for the community.”
“So many people support the Cougar football team,” Boyd said.
Spirit Week is this week at YCHS in honor of the team. Tuesday was “Ax the Vikings Day”, with students dressed like a lumberjack.
Wednesday will be “All I Want for Christmas is a state title.” In honor of the York Christmas Parade, students will wear the tackiest Christmas sweaters.
The Thursday theme will be “Superheroes go to State,” with students encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero.
Friday will be “Cougar Crazies on the Road to State,” with students attired in Cougar gear and Cougar colors.
“The cheerleaders are very excited about making the trip to Columbia to cheer our boys to victory,” said YCHS cheer coach Donna Jackson.
“I was a freshman at the game at Williams-Brice in 1986 and am looking forward to history repeating itself,” she said. “We made some wonderful memories back then and are hoping to have the same experience with our girls this year.”
York Superintendent Vernon Prosser said he recognizes the excitement generated by the team’s state-title shot.
“The entire community is behind our football team,” said Prosser. “We also find that when a team has success, it carries over to the classroom. The student-athletes are more engaged.”
The band also will be standing tall at Williams-Brice Stadium. “We are excited for the football team,” said band director Douglas Brooks.
Brooks said the Cougars band will present its competition show at halftime. “We’re the only 4A band performing from our area,” he said.
“We are so proud of our football team for advancing to the state championship,” drum major Makayla Phelps said after the Nov. 28 game at Greenwood. “We are happy to be part of the excitement at the game.”
The York cheerleaders say they are primed for the big event.
“We are so excited about the football team,” said senior cheerleader Victoria Brady. “We’ve supported them all the way and look forward to the state championship game. The cheerleaders are very much a part of football Friday nights.”
“Saturday will be a great experience in Columbia,” said Brady.
Mary Elyn Carroll, wife of coach Carroll, set the tone for the York fans in her weekly touchdown club communication via an email to fans.
“If you bring a friend, we could have 5,000 spectating, shouting, screaming, cheering, crazy Cougar fans,” Carroll wrote.