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2020 Wolverine football team to honor fallen alumni

By Andy Rhinehart

Polk County’s 2020 football team will pay tribute to the memory of Tryon Fire Chief James “Tank” Waters.

The Wolverines will don a memorial sticker on their helmets this season in honor of Waters, who died on April 7 at the age of 40. A lifelong resident of Polk County, Waters played football at PCHS and graduated from there in 1998.

The sticker will simply read “Tank” in black letters on a field of red.

“We remember James ‘Tank’ Waters as a former Wolverine that realized his hopes and dreams by becoming Chief of the Tryon Fire Department,” said Polk County head football coach Bruce Ollis. “He should serve as an inspiration to all that have goals they may see as impossible to achieve.

“His work ethic, dedication and desire to serve others made him a selfless servant of the citizens of Polk County. His measure of success should be graded on the number of lives he touched in a positive manner. We can only hope our players and coaches will do the same.”

It will mark the third straight season that Polk County helmets will carry a memorial sticker. Two years ago, players wore a sticker in honor of former teammate Markell Lipscomb, who died in an automobile accident, while last season the team wore a “GMT” sticker in memory of former school board chairman and community benefactor Geoffrey M. Tennant.