Alabaster celebrates homecoming, raising money for injured player
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The annual Alabaster homecoming festivities have come with a slightly different twist this year. In addition to celebrating the community and the Warrior football programs, the week is also helping to raise money for an injured former Hoover football player.
At the community pep rally at Larry Simmons Stadium following the Alabaster homecoming parade on Sept. 27, the Warrior Football Foundation collected donations to benefit current Harvard and former Hoover High School football player Ben Abercrombie, who was paralyzed during a Sept. 16 game between Harvard and Rhode Island.
The Foundation will also collect donations for Abercrombie during Thompson’s Sept. 29 homecoming game against the Pelham Panthers.
“We may be rivals on the field, but we’re all family,” said Alabaster City Schools Student Services Coordinator Dorann Tanner.
The fundraiser served as a highlight of an event-filled night around Larry Simmons Stadium on Sept. 27, as the city continued its tradition of packing the streets and stadium for the annual homecoming parade.
“It’s great to be a part of a community that celebrates homecoming K through 12. It’s great to be in a community that is a part of what we do,” said Thompson High School Principal Dr. Wesley Hester. “You don’t get red-hot by accident. It takes hard work, it takes a lot of sweat and it takes a laser focus, and this team has that.”
The parade’s “Red-hot” theme paid tribute to the Alabaster Fire Department, and honored Fire Chief Jim Golden as its grand marshal.
The parade featured floats from several community and school organizations, and the pep rally included performances from the Thompson Spirit Squad, TMS and THS cheerleaders, TMS and THS dance teams, the TMS majorettes, the TMS and THS cheerleaders and the THS marching band. The Alabaster Arts and Entertainment Foundation sponsored a fireworks show at the end of the pep rally.
“Our Warriors are red-hot, and have started the season 4-0,” said ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers. “We are here to celebrate their season.”
The following groups won the parade float contest:
-Most spirited: THS sophomores
-Most creative: THS theatre department
-Best use of theme: Thompson Sixth Grade Center
-Best class float: THS juniors
-Best overall: Creek View Elementary