EASLEY — The Easley Green Wave has a long tradition in athletics, academics and community service and Athletic Director Gill Payne is looking to see that history is carried forward.
“When I took this job back in the spring, I had no idea what the building of the new high school had done to the community,” Payne said. “We have a $150 million jewel here and a lot of the alumni have felt cast out and left behind after the move. I want to show them that’s not the way it is and bring some of the history and tradition back.”
One way Payne is looking to help bridge the gap is through a fundraising campaign that will not only benefit the athletic department, or any club or organization wishing to participate, is through the sale of memorial bricks to honor alumni, family, friends, athletes, former staff or coaches or anyone with a connection to Easley High School.
Payne believes making this available will help bring the old and new together.
“Through recognizing the people who have made a difference, we’re suddenly going to be making the alumni a part of the campus and maybe create a new tradition,” he explained. “From this point on, every graduate will receive a form as well giving them the chance to become a part of the school’s history as well.”
Before home games, the Green Wave football team does what fans know as the “Wave Walk,” passing into the stadium along a concrete sidewalk. Payne’s vision has that pathway lined with remembrances of alumni and friends of the school going back over the years and for those he has discussed the project with there seems to be growing excitement.
“Last summer the class of 1964 was here and we were having lunch together when I mentioned the idea and what I wanted to accomplish,” Payne said. “One of the ladies began to cry and explained that she, her mom, dad and brother had all graduated from Easley and she now lives in Oregon and there’s no family here. She was touched by being able to have the chance to have her family as part of our tradition here.”
Each brick will cost $100 and is guaranteed for life and as an incentive, Payne has made it available to any of the school’s clubs or teams that would like to participate.
“This is going to be the only fundraiser we do this year as a team,” he said. “And any of the other groups that want to participate to raise money for their sport or club we’re going to split the proceeds 50-50 with them so everyone benefits.”
Anyone interested in participating or purchasing a memorial brick should contact the Easley High School athletic department at 864-397-3152.