From one Charger to another

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Former Central High School football player Ronnie Williams hosted a meal Friday at which he and other former Chargers provided mentorship to the 2017 Central football team.

Williams was joined by Charger football alumni Cal Spencer, Donald Gee, Charles “Tater” Anderson, Todd Williams, John Love, Ronnie Marable, Brian Hawks and Lloyd Parsons. All of these men were veterans of what many call “the Glory Years” of Charger football. All played on championship teams and shared their passion for “Charger Pride” with the 2017 Charger players.

Ronnie Williams, Todd Williams, Gee and Anderson addressed the group and discussed their fond memories and the important life lessons they learned as Charger football players. Loyalty, fraternity and tradition were stressed.

“We want you to experience what we experienced,” Ronnie Williams said.

This sentiment was echoed by all the alumni, some of whom drove from as far as South Carolina and Washington, D.C.

“I often tell our kids that when we take the field, all those who came before us take the field with us,” Central Athletic Director Wallace Owen said. In response to the Friday meal, he added, “What a beautiful illustration of the truth of this statement. The coaching staff is deeply touched that these gentlemen would take time from their busy lives to host such an event.”

Chargers Head Varsity Football Coach Will Thomas, who is himself a former Charger football player, commented on what makes “Charger Pride” special.

“I have been to other schools that are rich in football tradition, and I have never experienced anything like this,” he said. “Most kids don’t get to be a part of things like this. These are Chargers who sacrifice to give back to their community.”

The 2017 Chargers are in the midst of preseason preparation, looking to build on the 8-3 finish of their 2016 counterparts who advanced as far as the second round of the Region 1A East playoffs.

Central hosts a scrimmage Friday at 6 p.m. against Wilson Memorial High School and another scrimmage Friday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. against Brunswick High School before starting its regular season Friday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. against visiting Altavista High School.