Football ‘Meet & Greet’ Thursday

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The countdown to kickoff has begun, and nowhere will the pre-game excitement be greater than on The Square in Troy on Thursday.

The City of Troy Public Relations and Tourism Department will kick off the 2015 football season with a “meet and greet” lunch from noon until 1 p.m. on The Square.

“The meet and greet is a community-wide kickoff to the local high school and Troy University football seasons,” said Shelia Jackson, public relations/tourism director. “Head football coaches Brad McCoy of Charles Henderson High School, Gene Allen of Pike Liberal Arts School and Neal Brown of Troy University will be our featured guests. They will have posters to autograph and football schedules to hand out, and they just might stay around long enough to have photographs taken.”

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Jackson said she is excited to have Tonya Terry, anchor of WSFA-12’s “Today in Alabama” and “Alabama Live” as emcee for the football season kickoff event.

“Tonya is a native Trojan. She loves Troy and she loves Troy football,” Jackson said. “She might be as excited to be here as we are to have her.”

Terry said she will be just that excited.

“It’s always great to come back home, and it’s even more exciting during football season,” Terry said. “I love football and I love the atmosphere surrounding it and, especially, the way it brings the community together.”

Terry is a 1988 graduate of Charles Henderson High School and remembers the fun and excitement of high school football.

“My boyfriend, Adrick Holt, was number 53. He played defensive back, and I couldn’t wait to see him play,” Terry said. “There was a lot of interaction among the schools, public and private, during football season. I also remember going to baseball games at Pike Lib. Sports brought us together and they still do.”

That togetherness will be evident on Thursday when the coaches and fans of the two local high schools and Troy University come together for a casual lunch on The Square.

Terry said football games attract today’s fans and those from years past.

“I try to attend CHHS games when I can and every Troy University home game,” she said. “Alumni and fans come from all over the country to Troy University’s home games. You get to see people that you haven’t seen in years.

“I was at Troy from 1992 until 1996, and I look forward to seeing people I was in college with. I enjoy seeing the chancellor and the people in journalism. It’s great to be back on campus. And, can you believe that new Alumni Hall. It looks like a five-star hotel. It’s amazing. The campus is amazing.”

As exciting as college football is, there’s nothing to compare to high school football, Terry said.

“One of my fondest memories is of my grandmother, Annie Lois McNabb. She would not miss a Friday night football game when any of her children and grandchildren were in school and then after they graduated, she still wanted to go to football games on Friday night.

“That’s what the kickoff event is about, celebrating football on Friday night and on Saturday at the stadium.”

Little Jimmy Reed and DJ Hendock will be the featured entertainment for the kickoff event.

“They are both back by popular demand, and so the entertainment will be outstanding,” Jackson said. “We invite everyone to join us on The Square Thursday as we kickoff the football season. Lunch will be free, and there will be a lot of great door prizes. So come, meet the coaches and enjoy the fellowship of friends and neighbors.”