Published Saturday, January 19, 2013
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
A lot of Welch Elementary School students had a peculiar fever on Friday, but it did not keep them away from school.
Friday was designated as Falcons Rise Up Friday at the school. Falcon Fever infected many in the school from a pint-sized cheerleader to staff members wearing shirts for their favorite team.
Banners were placed in hallways to encourage the Falcon Fever to spread even faster. The top-seeded Falcons (14-3) will host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the NFC championship game, looking to reach the Super Bowl – which will be held in New Orleans – for just the second time in Falcons franchise history.
Coach Ken Chambless, who teaches physical education at Welch, spearheaded the Falcons Rise Up Friday project. "I'm a big Falcons fan. I've had Falcons season tickets since I was a little kid," he said.
Reflecting on the Sunday chance at a Super Bowl berth, Chambless said, "It's been a long time coming."
Dozens of Welch students wore T-shirts, jerseys or other Falcons garb. Samantha Penson sported a plastic sleeve with some Falcons tickets as a necklace. She said she has been to see the Falcons play and likes to go "because it's fun."
First grader Kayla Jove wore an authentic cheerleader outfit. She said she is proud to support Atlanta's football team "because they score a lot."
"I'm their biggest fan," proclaimed third grader Ahman Khan. He said he has been a booster of the team since he moved to Coweta County three years ago.
For another third grader, Madison Insolia, it is the team's achievement during the season that merits admiration. "I like them because they've come a long way this year," she said.
"They're awesome," Khan proclaimed. "They're epic."