Photos by Rome City Schools
On Thursday, September 27, Rome High School’s cafeteria was alive with the sound of laughter but not hungry stomachs as the Rome Wolves football team filed in after practice to chow down on a meal provided to them by the Touchdown Club.
The Touchdown Club is Rome High School’s booster club that supports RHS athletics by helping to raise money and community support for Rome Wolves Football. The Touchdown Club is organized by the parents of students who are involved in sports.
The Touchdown Club feeds the varsity and JV football teams each week during the season, which equals around 17 meals. Members of the Touchdown Club use the Wolf Walk to attract sponsors who fund the meals they serve to the players each week.
Head Football Coach, John Reid explained the reasoning behind hosting team meals every week before game days. “Instead of assuming our kids were getting a nutritious meal, we thought it would be nice to get everyone together and know they are receiving a nice meal,” said Reid. “That’s what we raise the money for, to feed these kids. It’s also a good chance for us all to get together, not be so focused on football and strengthen the bonds that make us a family.”
The volunteers of the Touchdown Club who help host these team dinners every Wednesday or Thursday night for the football players call themselves “The Spaghetti Crew.”
The Spaghetti Crew is listed below:
Julie Reid, Coach Reid’s wife and educator for Rome City Schools, described the process of preparing the meals. She and the Spaghetti Crew spend most of their free time organizing and arranging this event each week.
“We have a gentleman who picks up all of the materials needed to cook the spaghetti for the boys and he delivers them to The Season Events (300 Glenn Milner Blvd., Rome) where they prepare everything for us, for free,” explained Julie. “We then bring the finished product here to the cafeteria where the boys eat. We absolutely love for the kids to have this camaraderie together and see each other off the field, and we figured the best way to do that was through food.”
Serving as another Rome High custom, this dinner has become a mainstay for football pre-game activities. Julie detailed that, “This just simply gives the kids time to talk to each other when it is not all about a class or all about football. It is just a time for them to have fun.
“It is so great for us to get to know the boys and to see their faces. We typically only see them with a number and a helmet on,” continued Julie. “The boys are so very polite. Everyone who comes through the line always says, ‘Thank you, we appreciate you,’ so I think it gives us more of a close-family relationship with parents and the players.”