Natchez High School booster club to hold first awards banquet, dinner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Natchez Gridiron Club is adding to its list of firsts in the booster club’s first year as a reestablished unit.

The club will host an awards banquet and dinner for Natchez High School football players at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Steckler Building to honor the achievements of this year’s team, coaching staff and administration.

“These kids have done an excellent job on the field and off,” Gridiron Club president Bradrick Dean said. “I’m really, really glad we are able to show them our appreciation, and I’m super happy they are able to get some kind of accolades just to say thank you.”

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Natchez High football coach Roy Rigsby agreed the first-year event should be special, considering the outgoing of 22 Bulldog seniors.

“I’m truly grateful for the effort they have given. They are leaving a solid foundation for this program,” Rigsby said. “They had the ability to change perspective, and they have set the bar higher than it ever has been. I’m really proud of them.”

Dean said the banquet was one of the club’s main goals this year, and that he is especially excited to host the event after the club hosted a banquet for the middle school players in November.

Dean said the scheduled guest speaker for the high school banquet is Natchez High graduate Al J. Thompson.

Along with the banquet, Dean said the club accomplished everything it set out to do in its first year, including ordering letterman jackets for all of the senior football players.

“We didn’t set a lot of goals, but we wanted to make sure we got the basics down,” he said. “I’m so pleased with the way the first year went. The support from community and parents, it was overwhelming.”

Dean said the club capped close to 150 members this year, and the goal for next year is to reach 200 members.

“We are just trying to really grow the club where we can do a lot of things for the players and make sure they have the things they need,” Dean said. “Hopefully we continue to have the support we have had so far.”

Each football player is granted two guests for the banquet. Each additional person is asked to pay $5 upon entry.

Dean said the banquet is open to all supporters of Natchez High School, and the club welcomes any person interested in honoring the students or joining the club.

Sponsoring businesses of the Natchez Gridiron Club are also invited, and are asked to contact Dean at 601-392-4143 to ensure proper seating.

“This has been an excellent group of kids,” Dean said. “They have a great unity seeing that they all grew up together. It’s been a joy to be around them and see them be successful as athletes and students. This is just a great way to close out the season.”