Wave of support

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 25, 2011

NATCHEZ — Green Wave spirit was abundant Thursday night at Devereux Stadium as parents, friends, alumni and fans gathered to support the Wave by watching the football team’s pre-game walkthrough and painting their vehicles with Cathedral green and white.

Those green and white clad cars and trucks will form a caravan at 1:30 p.m. today and head to Noxapater where the team will play for a South State Title.

Cathedral coach Ron Rushing said he and his team appreciate the support they are receiving and understand that the team’s success is not just for the players and coaches.

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“These are exciting times for this school,” he said. “It’s unbelievable how much support is here. It really is a family.

“This lets (the players) know how important it is. Not just for us, but for everyone else.”

Kathy Graning, a long-time member of the Green Wave family, was on hand Thursday night to help paint vehicles. She said she wanted to come out to support the team for multiple reasons.

“I’m a fourth-generation alumni, my brother (Tom Graning) and brother-in-law (Craig Beesley) are coaches and my nephew (Andrew Beesley) is on the team. I bleed green and white.”

There were also several parents of Cathedral players at the stadium Thursday night to help paint cars for the caravan to Noxapater. One of those parents was Shannon Case, the mother of Cathedral defensive back Jake Pender, and Case said the parents are as ready for the game as the players.

“We are fired up about the South State game,” Case said. “We are ready. I wanted to skip Thanksgiving and wanted to eat turkey on Saturday.”

Case said it is important that the Cathedral fans show their support for the team, and they do so every season, no matter the results on the field.

“It doesn’t matter if we are winning or losing, we always have this many people out here,” she said.

Case said the Cathedral fans are confident in their team’s ability to bring home a win tonight.

“No, (I’m not nervous),” she said. “I have 100 percent confidence in those boys.”

Rushing’s wife Kappi Rushing seconded Case’s show of support for the team.

“I want them to believe in themselves, because we all believe in them, and we know they can do it,” Kappi said.

Case said the Green Wave fans take pride in what the team has already accomplished this season.

“I have no words to say about how proud I am,” Case said. “They deserve (a championship) more than any other team that I have seen play high school football.”

The excitement was not just for the adults, however, as many Cathedral students joined in the festivities.

Members of the Cathedral Drill Team participated in the car painting, and one of those members, Julia Rachel Kuehnle, said she was ready for the big game.

“We are pumped up about South State,” she said. “I am nervous for them.”

Kuehnle said she understands how special this moment is for her and her school.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “We haven’t been to South State in a long time, and I am glad to be a part of it.”

The caravan of painted cars will meet at 1:15 p.m. today at Kaiser Mobil Mart and leave for Noxapater at 1:30 p.m.

Kickoff between Cathedral and Noxapater is scheduled for 7 p.m.