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J.E. Hot O'Brien Stadium was filled with proud mommas, daddies, friends, and family to see the class of 2019 took their final walk as a Tallassee High School student on Friday

When it comes to school-based events, Tallassee has a large following. Whether it be a football game or a Night of Bands, Tallassee fans always show up to support their alma mater. Now that fanbase has an official name, Tiger Nation. Tallassee Recreation Center program coordinator Courtney Thornton founded the group to organize those who religiously turnout to support the Tallassee Tigers.

"Week in and week out, myself included, we continuously support our favorite teams, whether it be professional, collegiate, football, basketball, softball or baseball,” Thornton said. “We support them by tuning in to the television, listening on the radio or even in some cases attending the event.”

Thornton hopes to take this vision a step further and ask Tallassee residents, organizations and business owners to paint the town in school spirit.

"While interacting with this city on a day-to-day basis, especially on game day, it is my vision to go out and see this city covered in purple and gold to show support to our young athletes as they attempt to represent this city to the best of their ability," Thornton said.

A 1995 Tallassee graduate, Thornton said painting the town in purple and gold is an old tradition he would like to see make a comeback.

"When I was growing up there was a generation of men and women who followed us, regardless of the location, to continuously show support," Thornton said.

Thornton recalls one game in particular and the strong show of support that may have been the tipping point to the Tiger's success that Friday night under the lights.

"From the perspective of a former athlete for this city, the feeling you get when you come out of the locker room or dugout and see how much support you have, it is an incentive to give not 100% but 150%," he said. "In 1995, we were on a tear through the AHSAA destroying all baseball teams in our path. On the bus ride to Jacksonville, Alabama, to face the Eagles for the state title, one of the most exciting topics discussed on the bus was the fact that the school took busloads of students and parents to the game — all that wanted to attend. We packed out the park. We had just as many fans — if not more than — the home team. We beat a very good Jacksonville team that year to bring the title back to the house."

It is special memories of being a Tallassee Tiger that motivated Thornton to invite others who have similar memories and those who simply want to be part of an organization committed to supporting the hometown team.

"I want to start a group of as many as possible to be labeled Tiger Nation,” Thornton said. “Once a Tiger always a Tiger. To have that THS across your chest use to mean something.”

Those who would like to become part of this movement can contact Thornton at 334-283-4726 or 334-415-0697 or email cthornton@tallassee-al.gov

“I welcome all ideas and I really think this will be good for the students to see all the former athletes showing up at the events to show support for whatever they are participating in,” Thornton said. “I really hope this gets you all as fired up as it has me over the past few weeks."