Loyal CHS basketball fans boost team spirit

Paul and Donna Moore have been avid CHS basketball fans since 2002. (Special/Mollie Brown)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Calera High School basketball wouldn’t be the same without Paul and Donna Moore. The Moores became Eagle fans in 2002 when Trey Russell, 2005 CHS graduate, invited them to a game.

“It was at the grand opening of First United Security Bank,” Donna recalled. “Paul looked at Trey and said, ‘That boy looks like a basketball player.’ He struck up a conversation that ended with an invitation to a game.”

“We supported and encouraged players in Michigan before moving here,” Paul said. “I didn’t realize what people were doing for me in school, now I try to give back.”

Coach Robert Burdette said the team asks at the beginning of every season if the Moores will be at the games.

“The kids expect to see Paul and Donna here. Their support means a lot,” Burdette said.

Taylor Brooks looks for them at every game.

“The Moores are big encouragers, our most dedicated fans.”

The Moores attend all games and many times Donna travels alone.

“Paul doesn’t always get off in time for the games,” Donna said. “Sometimes I go by myself. I’ve driven to Montgomery and Troy.”

Paul is impressed with Burdette’s coaching skills.

“Height and size doesn’t limit him in making a great team. He doesn’t just make players, he makes men.”

Their most memorable game was three years ago. Calera was down by several points. Deondre Haynes took a shot, sending the ball through the net. Paul jumped over three rows of fans and ran down the court to high-five Deondre’s dad. The team got pumped and went on to win.
Tears welled in Paul’s eyes when Donna talked of their most cherished memories.

“In 2009, the principal, Mr. Mobley, gave us a team picture of the seniors. It’s displayed on our fireplace. Paul was unemployed the following Christmas. Someone slipped a $100 bill in his hand.”
Donna is not a huge fan of the sport, but loves mothering the boys. Paul said it’s amazing how the boys acclimate to her nurturing, accepting her as a mother figure.

The Moores attend graduation every year to give senior players a gift and handwritten card. Paul writes how proud they are of their accomplishments and encourages them to be all God wants them to be.

It still takes a village to raise a child. It takes people like the Moores, who believe that as a community we can make differences in the lives of the children around us.

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.