White Oak, Texas (Longview News-Journal) —
When the White Oak Roughnecks take the field Friday night against Spring Hill, fans may not immediately recognize the uniforms.
They won’t be the traditional maroon and white .
White Oak Athletic Director and Head Coach Gerry Stanford said Monday the Roughnecks will don camouflage uniforms Friday night to honor members of the military and their families during the game against its rival.
Stanford said the varsity team held several fund raisers this past fall and spring to get money for the uniforms.
Senior center Mickey McFall said wearing the special uniforms against Spring Hill adds an additional element to an important game.
“It’s something new to White Oak because we’re usually traditional,” McFall said. “It gives us not something to play for but a reason to remember what we’re serving for this week,” McFall said.
In addition to the special uniforms, the team is partnering with Soldiers’ Angels collecting phone cards and grocery store gift cards at the ticket booth Friday night. The school will also collect thank you cards which Soldiers’ Angels will give to military members for their service.
Soldiers’ Angels is a nonprofit organization which provides aid and comfort to active duty service men and women as well their families. The national organization relies on the volunteer efforts like this.
“We really wanted to get the families involved,” Stanford said. “This just takes some of the stress off the families. They can go to the grocery store and not have to worry about money. It’s just something I thought we could do to help out.”
White Oak High School Principal Dan Noll said he credits the team-first attitude of Stanford and the players as a catalyst for organizing the donation drive.
“In all of their (coaches) decisions, they try and make it a team effort,” Noll said. “The reason why they do that is because it holds one accountable. There has been a united front in saying, ‘Hey, let’s all thank these military guys.’”
Aiming for as many donations as possible, Stanford hopes Spring Hill fans will support the cause as well.
“We’re encouraging their fans to get involved,” Stanford said. “I’ve let Coach (Mark) Sartain know what our plan is. But yeah, it is a dual campus event.”
Spring Hill and White Oak square off 7:30 p.m. Friday at White Oak High School’s Roughneck Stadium.