Sheridan parents host weekly meals for student athletes

Sheridan sophomore Nick Haag (44) moves through the breakfast line Friday morning at Bethel Hall. Photo by Ben Coulter.

Student athletes from Sheridan help themselves to a hearty game-day breakfast Friday morning at Bethel Hall. Photo by Ben Coulter.

SHERIDAN – Being a member of a team is part of growing up, whether it’s participating in debate or going out for football. It’s good for young people to develop a competitive spirit, and sometimes they learn more about themselves than whatever sport they’re competing at.

In Sheridan, the community comes together to make sure that their student athletes start out game-day with a hearty breakfast to put their best feet forward.

The high school football and volleyball teams gather at 8:30 each Friday morning at Bethel Hall to enjoy a delicious meal before setting out to take on their opponents. The meal is served by approximately 10 parent volunteers who just want to make sure their kids go out and give it their all on a full stomach. From breakfast burritos and pancakes to biscuits and gravy with eggs and bacon, each week the Sheridan High School student athletes take on a gourmet breakfast before taking the field.

The food on the buffet table disappears slowly as the kids slowly trickle in from outside, wiping the sleep from their eyes before grabbing a hot plate. They cluster into the banquet hall’s tables, sitting together quietly at first while they devour the mounds of breakfast food. But as the plates begin to clear, the volume in the room slowly increases as they linger, socializing and enjoying each other’s company. It’s a good time for an informal pre-game mental check, going over assignments and responsibilities in a casual, comfortable setting before the level of intensity rises as game time approaches, said sophomore Mike Hilliker.

“Just talking to people too, how they’re feeling and if they’re ready for it,” said Hilliker of the atmosphere surrounding the informal team event each Friday morning.

The parent volunteers know the players appreciate their support, whether it’s in the bleachers on the sidelines or off the field in the kitchen.

“They know this group of parents is behind them, they know the community is behind them,” said Sheridan resident and volunteer Gilbert Lewis. “Win lose or draw.”

As for the best part about coming together as a team before taking the field?

“Definitely getting a good breakfast before the game,” said Hilliker.

This Friday the parent volunteers plan to cook a community breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the high school to celebrate Sheridan Panthers Homecoming 2012.

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