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Letter: East thankful for city’s support

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From: Mark Newell and Bob Gaddis


Received: Dec. 4

On behalf of Columbus East High School, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the support that the community of Columbus has shown to us during our 4A state football championship season.

It was very humbling to look in the stands and witness a sea of orange from end zone to end zone at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday afternoon. There was so much orange, the IHSAA officials felt compelled to tell us that, by far, we had the largest crowd of the weekend.

The support that we have received both as a school and as a team has been, quite simply, overwhelming.

We appreciate all the efforts of Mayor Kristen Brown and Police Chief Jason Maddix who arranged and provided the police escort out of town and again upon our jubilant return.

A thank you to the many people who lined the streets as the team made its way back to school. For the players, it was one of the many highlights of the day.

We would also like to send a thank you to all of the elementary and middle school students and teachers who sent their well wishes in various forms to the team.

Thank you to our cheerleaders, students and pep band who all did an excellent job of being loud and proud for the Olympians.

Thank you to our Quarterback Club, who worked tirelessly to provide the little touches that made the journey even more memorable.

Thank you to several businesses, including SIHO, Ice Miller, Hoosier Sporting Goods, Carver Toyota and Estep & Co., who in various ways expressed their support for our team.

We also wish to thank Bob Poynter, who has graciously donated the cost of 90 championship rings for our student-athletes.

The media coverage from all local outlets including The Republic, 1010 WCSI and WINN 104.9 with Sam Simmermaker and MOJO 102.9 with Tom Rust, has been fantastic and much appreciated.

Thank you to Rebecca Moir and Jamie Doughty, the creators of the “Flat Gaddis” campaign. It was a huge success! Coach was spotted at many places throughout Columbus and the world.

We also wish to thank other local businesses that gave of their resources: Amazing Joe’s, Applebee’s, Bubba Blues, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mariah, Quick Signs, Texas Roadhouse, UPS Store on 25th Street and Whipker’s Farm Market.

Without a doubt, we serve an outstanding community, and we are very thankful for the support you have shown to the students and faculty of East, both on the athletic fields and in the classrooms. In order to provide the best atmosphere for success for all of our students, we need to work together; nowhere has that been more evident than over the course of the tournament, which culminated Saturday evening with the celebration in the gymnasium.

We realize that there is no way we can recognize everyone who played a role large or small, so we apologize for anyone we left out. Again, we are very humbled, and we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve our students and you, the community, day in and day out.

Thanks for being a major part of making lifelong memories for our students, parents and coaches.

Mark Newell is principal at Columbus East High School, and Bob Gaddis is the school’s head football coach.

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