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Cyclones Sports Update

Cyclone Sports Update with AD Larry Salley

This past Thursday, we saw the end of an epoch in which a lady of impeccable grace did her duty flawlessly for longer than most of us can remember.  No, I'm not referring to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.  On Thursday, I tearfully accepted the resignation of Mrs. Claudia Owens as our Cyclone gatekeeper.

Ms. Claudia, as all of us called her, has been the smiling face at the front door of every Cyclone sporting event for 40 years.  She admitted me to games when I was in middle school, and she has never changed a bit.  She started taking tickets back then because her good friend, Betty Mizzell, was the administrative assistant to "The Maje," the first-ever principal of the Middle School.  The ladies would work the games, and their husbands, Roy Owens and Dan Mizzell, would come to every game.  Back when I started as AD, we still reserved seats on the team bus for "the boys" on every Friday night road trip.

When the Covid pandemic hit and everything had to be reimagined, I was asked, "what is the ticketing protocol at Porter-Gaud?"  I had to answer, "I don't know.  We've always just given Ms. Claudia a schedule, and then the gate money appears in the safe.  No one remembers anything else."  Fortunately, Mr. Egleston is a fellow alumnus, so he didn't remember anything else either!  

The online ticketing platform that we added "just in case" during the pandemic will be our default system moving forward, but one thing technology cannot possibly do is greet every fan, home and visitor, with a smile that communicates a lifetime of welcome.  I've asked Ms. Claudia over and over how she does it, and all she says is, "Oh, I just speak to people, and most of them speak back.  And they remember."  It sounds simple, but it's been magic for 40 years.

I have asked Ms. Claudia to invite Roy and the rest of her family and friends to come to the Homecoming football game vs. Laurence Manning on October 7th so that we can properly recognize her and can all say a formal goodbye.  And of course, they'll always have a free pass to every Cyclone sporting event!  On this 50th year of women at Porter-Gaud, it will be our pleasure to celebrate one of the most beloved ladies in our school's history.

Go Cylcones!

Coach Salley