For a select group of the Chesapeake school community, one of the most exciting aspects of the Cougar football team’s region championship happened the day before the game.
In a show of appreciation, Chesapeake football players gifted game jerseys to school employees to wear around school on Friday, November 15, the day before the Cougars captured the region crown against J.M. Bennett.
Every member of the team picked a teacher or school worker to wear his jersey throughout the day, and the school employees received letters from the players expressing their gratitude.
Chesapeake athletic director Chip Snyder said the idea sought to bring the school community together, and it was met well by everyone.
“We wanted to do something to increase school pride and bring everyone together,” Snyder said. “It was a way for the players to show everyone who helps them and supports them that they’re appreciated. The teachers and workers who received them were thrilled. And it wasn’t just the teachers, it was lots of employees who work just as hard, so it was really cool.”
Teachers, administrators, custodial workers, cafeteria workers and staff were among the many to receive jerseys, and they met for large group photo at the end of the day.
English teacher Caprice Kennedy received a jersey from Cougar senior Jimmy Revels-Allen and said the teachers were happy to know they have made impacts on individual students.
“The teachers who received jerseys, it made us feel wonderful,” said Kennedy. “It made my whole week. Just to have that little bit of recognition as a teacher who has made an impact on a student and to know that I’ve built a relationship with that student, it makes you feel like the job and the everyday stress is worth it, just the small moments like that. It is awesome that they won [the region championship]. It was really unique and special, and just a really cool thing for us.”
School Resource Officer Fred Titus received a jersey from senior Devin Forrester. Titus was initially concerned that he wouldn’t be able to wear it because of strict regulations on uniforms for county police officers, but, not only did his sergeant and captain approve, they were so supportive of the idea they requested pictures of Titus wearing the jersey to share on the social media.
“I came in Friday and had no idea it was coming,” said Titus. “The jersey was on my chair and there was a nice little letter attached to it, and I felt more than blessed that a kid thought enough to have a uniform sent to me. What a great idea the school came up with to promote school pride. When we got our group photo at the end of the day, it was so uplifting to the teachers, even more to them than to the students. I felt a lot of pride and I was very thankful that Devin considered me to wear his jersey.”