Several hundred die-hard Calhoun fans gathered as early as 10 a.m. Friday morning outside of the Georgia Dome to get pumped up for the match between the Jackets and the Wolves.
“I’m excited for these players, especially the seniors,” said Monte Clark, a Calhoun High School alum who arrived to tailgate at 11:30 a.m. “This means a lot to them and these coaches.”
According to Trina Moss, an employee at Calhoun Primary School, a group of Calhoun football fans gather every home game to get pumped up before the Jackets take the field.
“We have a blast and get ready to go into the stands and support our Jackets,” she said.
Chaz McCormick, a defensive back and receiver for Calhoun from 2005-2008, had a unique perspective of Friday’s game, having played for the state title his freshman and senior years at Calhoun.
“I love the atmosphere and the support that everybody gives,” he said.
Chaz’s father, Ben McCormick echoes his son’s sentiment, saying he transferred his youngest son from another school to Calhoun for the school spirit and enveloping Jacket atmosphere.
“Everybody in Calhoun loves Calhoun football,” he said. His other son, Tanner McCormick, is a freshman outside linebacker for the Jackets.
A slow yell slowly developed into a loud roar bouncing from the rafters as the Jackets took the field Friday afternoon. The thrill of the moment radiated through the arena as fans yelled “Let’s go Jackets, let’s go!”
No stranger to the thrill and excitement of a championship game at the Dome, Kim Lamb, wife of Jacket head coach Hal Lamb and mother of junior wide receiver Ben Lamb, gives all the glory to God.
“I feel so blessed to be a part of this community and this team,” she said. “I feel like the Lord is going to bless us either way, and either way we want to give him all the glory.”
One of Calhoun’s biggest fans, Calhoun High School Principal Kelly Bumgardner, said she was overwhelmed by the excitement of it all.
“It’s an awesome experience,” she said.
As the gates opened for the public at 3:30 p.m., Calhoun fans went running through the doors, Bumgardner said.
“It has been very exciting,” she said. “This has been a great opportunity for our community."
According to Dalyn Moss, former Calhoun cheerleader who followed the team to the Dome in 2008, cheering in the Dome is a completely unique experience for the girls, as well.
“We had a lot more eyes on us,” she said.
Mother to star wide receiver, J.T. Palmer and two Jacket majorettes, Cindy Palmer held back tears as she said that watching her children on the field every Friday night and at the Dome is “the most exciting thing in my life.”
“It’s a dream come true to be here with all of them,” she said.