My family moved to Rabun County in the summer of 1964, I was only a few months old when we settled here.
We moved to get closer to family who lived in Toccoa and for my father to become Assistant Football Coach at Rabun County High School.
Since those days in 1964, I have been a Rabun County Wildcat.
Wildcat football has always been a mainstay in our house, Fridays revolved around home or away games and weekday afternoons around practice.
Both of my brothers played football, I didn’t, but the passion for the Wildcats runs deep in my soul. Even when I moved away, I was still a Wildcat.
I am a Rabun County Wildcat, followed by a Georgia Bulldog, and then no one else.
Over the years we have had some good teams and we have had some really bad teams, but the community has always stood behind our beloved boys in red and white.
Today I see the children, and in some cases, the grandchildren of the boys in red who put it all out on the field when I was in school.
When I moved back to Rabun, I got back into the swing of following the Cats. Football is a passion in our community and the whole town gets behind the team.
I started attending home games to cheer on the team and to see friends I hadn’t seen in many years.
Rabun County Football is a lot different from it was when I was in high school.
Today it has a college atmosphere with music blaring over the loud speakers, tail gating prior to the game, a student body that is actively involved in the game, a stadium store and awesome tributes to the people who came before and members of the community who have given back.
There have also been a number of new traditions that have been created over the years. The Wildcat “rock” that every player, coach and student touches entering the stadium.
The “cat walk” where fans, family and young kids greet the players as they enter the field of competition and “ringing the bell” after every Wildcat win.
Over the past several years that bell has been run a lot.
A couple of years before I moved back to God’s Country, one of the stars of my high school years was hired as head coach.
Coach Lee Shaw has brought a whole new attitude to Rabun County High School football. From day one, Coach Shaw made our team believe they could beat anyone, he instilled discipline, pride and brotherhood into his players and it has paid off.
The players that represent Rabun are undefeated, on track to win their 4th straight Region Championship, they are ranked #4 in the State and are marching towards an historic season.
More than the wins on the field, these student athletes are just plain and simple good kids. They go out of their way to encourage their teammates, they are role models for the little boys and girls who idolize them in the stands and they respect the history of Rabun County athletics that went before.
The players, coaches and staff that marches onto the field as a brotherhood each week represents us all well. Their actions on and off the field make us all stand a little prouder.
This year’s Rabun County Widlcats are quickly moving towards a historic run and no matter where the season ends, the 2017 Rabun County Wildcats already hold a special place in the pages of RCHS greatness.
To this year’s Rabun County Wildcats, I say thank you and keep sharpening the sword towards your date with destiny.
Thanks to Von Watts for the photo steal.