GULF SHORES — To show their support for the Gulf Shores High School football team making it to the state semifinals for the first time in school history, local businesses are painting their doors and putting out signs.
The Dolphins, who are 13-0 for the first time in school history, will take on the Eufaula Tigers on Friday, Dec. 1, at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex.
“People don't realize how much of a small town it is that we live here,” Bellator Real Estate and Development agent Brittany Brown said. “I have a third-grader at Gulf Shores, and he goes to all the games, and he loves it. He looks up to those players.”
To celebrate this milestone, businesses such as Bellator are painting their doors to make waves.
Brown added that when the football team wins, it is like a win for the whole city.
“That's the first time that this has been something not just for these boys, but the whole city,” Brown said. “To be able to accomplish, and I think the coaches do a good job of bringing in the community and getting involved, but I think they want the boys to know that it's not just a big deal for them. It's a big deal for the city, and so seeing the support around town really helps back that up.”
Adam and Niesje Langston, owners of Langston Animal Hospital and parents to senior kicker Will Langston, knew supporting the players was something they wanted to do.
“This group of guys has been together for about four years, and they worked really hard in the offseason to get where they are now,” Niesje Langston said. “It is incredible to see the community support for team.”
She noted that they placed signs that read “GSHS” and “Go Dolphins” in front of their business last year, too.
“I want them (GSHS football team) to just do what they have been doing,” Langston said. “I think they will have no problems if they just do that. Play together as a team, and try to play a good, clean game, stay out of penalties, and I think they will do well.”
GSHS head football coach Mark Hudspeth said he is overwhelmed by the community support.
“It's amazing,” Hudspeth said. “I'm so so proud of this community and so, so proud that we can bring some excitement to this community, and hopefully we're not through, you know; it's a big game this Friday.”
The Dolphins’ head coach noted that having the support of the community impacts his players.
“When you’re driving through Gulf Shores, everywhere you turn there's a sign on the marquee, there's balloons, or there's paint on the doors of the windows, and it's created quite a buzz and that's been a lot of fun to see,” he said.
Other businesses supporting the local football team include, but are not necessarily limited to, TCBY Gulf Shores, Diamond Jewelers, The Cove Bar and Grill, Gulf Shores Fire Rescue, South Oak Title Gulf Shores, Gulf Coast Hodo Electric, Remax of Gulf Shores and more. If you own a business or see one that is supporting the Dolphins with signs, door paint or in other visible ways, email firstname.lastname@example.org with photos to be included in this and future stories.
Dec. 1 will mark the ninth home game of the season for the GSHS football team. Hudspeth is in his third year in Gulf Shores. Last year, the Dolphins went 11-2 overall and lost in the third round of the playoffs. A win Friday would punch their ticket to play at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Dec. 7 to compete in the state championship.