This weekend, the Danville Admirals take their rightly place among the remaining postseason teams. It is late November, after all, and the state football championships are but a couple weeks away.
But they'll be without one of their most loyal supporters.
It was a little disappointing then, walking into Admiral Stadium last week, only to find the bench behind the home team's sideline empty. On Fridays, for the past 20-some seasons, fans would see the same whirling dirvish in action, helping Danville players with loose chin straps or broken mouthpieces.
Allen "Mack" Ransdell, Jr. held the position of Danville equipment manager, but most who knew him, called him the Admirals biggest fan. Ransdell graduated from the high school and gave back to the school each Friday during the football season, whether by adjusting shoulder pads or providing his own brand of vocal inspiration.
On those Friday nights that I made the trip to our state's first capital city, Ransdell routinely greeted yours truly with a hearty, "Hey stranger!" It was if
Danville's "superfan" fought illness for the past couple years, but rarely missed an Admirals game. There's not telling how many wins the man has seen.
On October 24, the former assistant fire chief lost his battle with illness, just two days after his beloved Ads knocked off Washington Co.
Players celebrate Ransdell's contributions with the word "MACK" emblazoned on the front of their helmets.
Here's hoping the Ads bring home their 11th state title. I'm certain Mack Ransdell will be cheering all the way.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.