Since Mansfield opened up their new school in 2004, the Tigers have been sitting on the same red and white chairs throughout basketball and volleyball seasons. There were some pretty dramatic finishes over the years with those seats sitting omnisciently along the sideline. However, half-court buzzer beaters and high hand volleyball kills have taken their toil with leaping enthusiasm and bitter disappointments out of those old chairs.
Now, Mansfield has a new place to park it. Thanks to the cooperation of Farmers Bank and the coaching staff at Mansfield, a set of highly padded, red, white, and black new chairs find themselves resting near the Tiger Gymnasium sidelines.
“It’s really a neat look,” expressed Craig Bentley, Mansfield Co-Athletic Director and head football coach. “It was something the indoor coaches have asked about for a couple of seasons. We finally found a partner to donate enough for the purchase.”
That partner was Farmers Bank and one of their leading community involvement personnel in the form of Means Wilkerson. Means is a fourth generation member of the Wilkerson family; a family that has been involved in banking and public works since 1907.
“Our basketball coaches really pushed for the upgrade” said Bentley. “The older chairs had seen their better days. It was time for some new ones. Too many broken and wobbly chairs to accommodate the number of teams and players coming into this building. Farmers really came through for us.”
The new chairs are adorned in red with a distinctive white M and a ferocious black, Tiger claw mark through the middle. The foam padding is twice as thick as before to add to the comfort of those players and coaches that find themselves seated during some portion of a particular contest.
The new arrivals came just as the basketball season was ending. Mansfield was able to let their outgoing seniors enjoy a sit as the chairs were available for senior night.
Now, that comfort will pass down as future generations roam the sidelines and check into more and hopefully just as exciting Tiger tussles.