Photos by Amanda Hall
There are some names that just become iconic. Names that people instantly identify with a team. Like Landry and the Cowboys, Bryant and Alabama, or Jordan and the Bulls. Well, in Lavaca Arkansas there is an icon as well. Not a superstar player, or National Champion coach but an icon none the less. Ronnie and Sherry Dean have been fixtures at ballgames in Lavaca for decades. Ronnie and Sherry are both graduates of Lavaca High School, but they never really left the school. Ronnie has been on school board for more than 20 years. Ronnie and Sherry have served the students in many capacities over the years, but none more prominent than that of cheerleader and biggest fans. The Deans can be found front center at just about any sporting event cheering on their beloved Golden Arrows, that is until the referees have had their fill… just kidding, well maybe.
Ronnie is always ready to give advise to the kids. He may tell them to “Choke up a bit”, or “Drive the lane with confidence”. Regardless of the advice, the kids in Lavaca have grown to respect him as knowledgeable and caring coach. To these kids Ronnie and Sherry have become “Grammy and Grandad”, kin or not. The love they have shared with the kids of Lavaca have been received and is reciprocal. Senior BethAnn May, played basketball and Softball for the Lady Arrows had this to say of the Deans, “When I think of Lavaca they’re exactly what I think of. They’re the heart of this town. They take every kid on like they are their own grandkids and they support and love on every kid in everything they do. Grammy gives the best hugs, BY FAR, too.”
The Support that the Deans have given to the students of Lavaca have had more of an impact than they will ever know. They have taught these kids life lessons. Not from the classrooms and not from the pulpit, but from the example of their life. They have shown them love, unconditional and unwavering. They have loved on these kids in good times and bad. In victory and defeat. They have shown them sacrifice. They have sat in the rain and snow, heat and wind, they may not get around very good but they get there all the same. The lessons do not go without notice and they are very much appreciated. Senior Trevon “T-Man” Moore is a three sport athlete at Lavaca (football, Basketball, and Baseball) and this is what he has to to say, “Having Grammy and Grandad at every event us kids have been at has been a true blessing. No matter how the game went or even if we won or not Grammy and Grandad were right there with open arms and loving hearts. They are truly some of the sweetest most caring and kind hearted people you will ever meet. Having them at every event is like having grandparents everywhere you go. I know every single one of us kinds have been impacted by the role that they have played in our lives and I know that we all love them so very much. I know I speak for all of us when saying that Grammy and Grandad have a special place in all of our hearts and will have that special place til we grow old. I hope that someday we could all be like them and know how to live life to it’s fullest and grow relationships with every single person (family or not) and learn how to love everyone and everything.”
Coach Brian Schlinker has been around the Deans for quite a long time as a softball, football, and baseball coach. I asked him what it has meant to his programs to have them support his kids, His response was, “I think our kids are so blessed to have Mr. and Mrs Dean. They offer the kids of Lavaca such amazing, unconditional support. If our kids are competing, they are there. I have seen them sit through heat, cold, and storms to support the boys and girls of Lavaca.” Ronnie and Sherry Dean are Truly icons around the ball fields and courts of Lavaca. The Deans really are the ‘heart of the Arrow’.