By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – It was “Meet the Sandies and Sandiettes” night on Thursday, Aug. 17 and a huge crowd of parents, friends, Grapeland ISD administrators, faculty and staff were on hand at the Grapeland HS gymnasium to do just that.

As the Mighty Sandie Band played the school fight song, the GHS cheerleaders led a procession of football players, volleyball players and cross country runners around the arena and to the floor of the gymnasium.

Once the athletes were seated, GISD Superintendent Don Jackson addressed the crowd.

“We hope you’re excited about the new school year and the Sandiettes and Sandies. We are here to honor them tonight,” he said.

Jackson harkened back to his days as a coach and said he wanted to explain what athletics was really all about.

“Athletics is not about the sport you play. It is about you becoming a man or you becoming a lady. It is about you getting better. Listen, we want to win a whole lot of games but we really want to have a great attitude while we do it,” he said.

“It’s not about the scoreboard,” Jackson continued. “It’s about the effort. It’s about what’s in your heart and most of all, it’s about what you become. It’s the game of life that really, really matters. We want you to remember that.”

The superintendent next expressed his appreciation to the GISD Board of Trustees along with the entire faculty and staff of the district.

At the conclusion of Jackson’s remarks, the superintendent turned the program over to GHS English teacher Will Watson for the introduction of the football team, the varsity and JV volleyball teams, the cross country runners and the cheerleading squad.

At the end of the athletic introductions, new GISD Band Director Becky Keisling took over from her colleague and introduced the musicians of the Mighty Sandie Band.

The first day of class for students in the GISD system is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 21.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.