The new look for the East Ridge High School football team was unveiled Tuesday night at the McDonald’s on Ringgold Road.
Four of Coach Tim James’ stellar athletes turned “models” for a few minutes to show off the white jerseys with orange numbers and white pants.
“This is a new look with four variations,” Coach James told a crowd of supporters, parents, alumni and teammates jammed into the restaurant that was hosting the event.
There are also gray jerseys and pants. So the team can mix and match if that’s what the coaches want to do.
The team was all over the parking lot of the McDonald’s waving banners and soliciting donations from patrons. The money is going to offset the cost of the new uniforms and helmets, officials said
Steven Overby (ERHS Class of ’03), the supervisor at McDonald’s said he reached out to Coach James at an Alumni Association meeting with the idea of hosting the team and raising some money. Overby said McDonald’s plans on doing a fundraiser for the team several more times this year.
McDonald’s has become the exclusive sponsor of the team at football games, Overby said. He plans on having some tents at the games and doing some giveaways.
“I’m excited to see good, positive things like this happening in our community,” Overby said.
There will also be a new formation on the field, Coach James said. The Pioneers will run a variation of the “Wing T” offense. Coach James said there will be elements of the “Spread” offense with “no major wholesale changes.”
Coach James said the team will have 17 starters returning from its history-making, undefeated regular season of a year ago. There are nine on offense, including running back Traneil Moore and quarterback Eric Bennett. Coach James said eight starters are coming back on defense.
Moore, who rushed form more than 2,000 yards last year and was named Mr. Football for Class A/AA, was on crutches during the event. He said he had surgery on his knee last week and is expected to have a three month recovery period.
After presenting the players in all four variations of the uniforms, Coach James profusely thanked McDonald’s and Overby for hosting the event.
“We had a great turnout tonight,” he told those gathered. “It’s good to see so many supporters who’ve turned out to see what the new brand of Pioneer football is going to look like.”
James also announced to the team that he expected to see them all at 6:30 a.m. on May 31 for a workout.