With the month of August coming to a close, football season is about to take over southern Oklahoma.
For most schools in the area the season begins on Aug. 30 or Sept. 6, with preseason scrimmages being played this week.
A time-honored tradition will take place at these scrimmages, with the annual soap and towel games — where in lieu of monetary fees patrons can attend games by bringing either laundry soap or a towel — marking the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season.
Football coaches in the area, like Dickson Comets head coach Steve Day, benefit from the donations throughout the school year. Donations also help ease the financial burden on the schools.
“It is tremendous,” Day said. “Parents and teachers on campus reach out to me and ask what type of laundry soap or what type of towels and stuff like that. We’ve definitely had a huge outpouring of support so far.”
For Dickson football, the donations help dramatically with the financial costs of doing laundry. Day estimates the program does laundry everyday during the season, between three to six loads per day.
Fortunately for the Comets’ program, the community ongoing support has provided copious amount of donations allowing them to skip years on occasion.
Dickson plays this Friday at home against Atoka. Fans may still enter the game even without soap and towel donations.
“It is little stuff like that, when we need something I don’t have any issue calling one or two folks and we got everything we need in 24-48 hours,” Day said. “So I expect for them (the community) to come out full force Friday night again like they always have.”
Ardmore High School has not had the soap and towel game in 13 years, but witnessed a need to bring it back this season.
Thanks to a joint effort between head football coach Josh Newby and cheer sponsor Eryn Denewellis, the game was brought back to help the Ardmore athletic programs.
“It has been something that we have needed for awhile,” Denewellis said. “The programs themselves have to pay for towels and the soap and different things to wash the kids’ uniforms.”
Denewillis brought up the idea to Newby from past experience. She said her brother played for the team when they were growing up, and she shared the soap and towel tradition.
The donations made from the game will be divided up between the various programs throughout the school year at Ardmore.
The Tigers will host Shawnee tonight at Noble Stadium.
“Football alone is going to take a lot of detergent so if you can cut down, a little bit goes a long way,” Denewllis said. “I think it is going to be a good response from the community giving back to the school.”