Staff Photo by Dan Henry Fans in the student section hold religious signs in preparation for Friday evening's football matchup between Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School and Ridgeland High School.
About two hours before the game between Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Ridgeland high schools, fans are lining up to show support for more than just their team.
Signs with Scripture verses and T-shirts saying “Warriors for Christ” are in the crowd tonight, showing support for the LFO cheerleaders who were banned last week from holding up banners with Bible verses.
Joyce Sparks, of Ringgold, and her husband came to game with their three children, none of whom go to either school.
“It’s not about the football game,” she said. “I’m here to support the cheerleaders and stand up for Christianity.”
She and her family were holding signs that read “I (Heart) Jesus” and “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“I believe it’s more about people supporting their beliefs,” said LFO Principal Jerry Ransom. “I think it’s brought (the community) together.”
Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese banned the signs after a local resident complained they were a violation of federal laws. Support has grown locally and nationally for the cheerleaders since then.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Joy Lukachick is a crime reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing down ...