Parents and supporters of current Elgin Wildcat players served a delicious Homecoming dinner to the team Thursday evening at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.
As explained by Gilbert and Sonya Rangel, parents of Wildcat Lyndon Rangel, the group has done this twice previously and hope to honor these players with a similar event before each home game this year.
The event is held at different locations, and the parents were grateful to First Baptist for allowing their hall to be the host of the Homecoming Feast. Other sponsors included H-E-B, South-side Market, Austin Community College and the Elgin Juneteenth Organization, who all donated food, supplies, and time and effort to ensure a successful dinner. Mention was made of the strong group of moms, led by Mrs. Isom, in procuring all that was needed to make this work out as nice as it did.
As I spoke with players and parents throughout the evening, I was not sure who enjoyed and appreciated the dinner more. As growing young men, the sausage, chicken, enchiladas, pork and desserts were a welcome and scrumptious fare, but it was obvious they really appreciated the adults going to all this trouble to honor them. And for the parents, the love and affection for their sons made them beam with pride.
After the meal, long time Wildcat supporters Bettye Lofton and William "Shorty" Russell addressed the team. Their heartfelt talks were fun and informational, but also inspirational to not only the team but everyone in the room.
Then Franklin, the youth minister at First Baptist, read a letter penned by Sonya Rangel, but whose passion and thoughts came from this group of mothers and fathers to their sons. It spoke of pride and representation. Team and hard work. Heart and passion. And most of all, keeping their heads up no matter the circumstances because they always have someone praying and watching over them. A copy of this letter was given to every team member as a remembrance and support when needed.
What a very nice evening it was.