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Signs show woman’s school spirit

WESSON — What started out as a joke on a ninth grade studentthree years ago has now turned into the most spirited effort WessonAttendance Center has seen in years.

When Jenny Decker-Williams’ son, Jonathan Decker, who is now ajunior, began playing football, she decided to get him and histeammates pumped up by showing a little extra school spirit.

“I made an 8×10 picture of a cobra and hung it up outside,” saidDecker-Williams. “It kept disappearing because kids were taking itoff my porch, making copies of it and hanging it back up.”

Decker-Williams realized she had made an impact on the studentsand decided to continue her efforts by making a pinata in the shapeof an opponent’s mascot for the football players to destroy at apep rally.

The students and coaches were thrilled, so she decided to takeher efforts another step by painting a large sign and hanging itfrom her front porch for the football players to see when theyreturned from a game.

The sign of congratulations was lit up and none of the footballplayers missed it when their bus rounded the corner of RailroadAvenue on its way to Wesson Attendance Center on Grove Street.

“When they came back from the game, they almost flipped the busbecause they all ran to one side to see it,” Decker-Williamsremembered.

She had started a trend that had gotten a positive response fromthe football players, so she decided to continue it.

Over the last three years, she has expanded her sign-making toinclude other school activities, such as band, cheerleading andsoftball. Her main area of interest, though, is football becauseher son plays.

Decker-Williams has painted at least one sign per game for thefootball team every year. She often paints four signs, two for thefootball players to see before a game and two for them to see aftera game.

Her signs have made such an impact on the athletic programs atWesson Attendance Center that she was recognized for her effortslast year with a certificate of appreciation from the Wesson CobraBooster Club. She also received a standing ovation from thefootball team.

“That’s a night I will remember for a long time,” saidDecker-Williams.

She believes her efforts, which also include helping announcehome football games, have made a difference in Wesson.

“They’re getting more and more spirited,” she said. “Last yearwhen we had this big game… the crowd started yelling ‘Go BigBlue’ and there was so much electricity in the crowd. It was reallygreat.”

Some Wesson residents have even helped support her efforts bydonating paint and plywood for the four-foot-by-four-foot signsthat her husband, David Williams, helps her prepare every week.

She hopes the spirit will continue to grow and maybe even reachan all-time high with crowd participation at ball games andpossibly extra support by area merchants.

“I keep hoping it will spread and the local stores will havesomething in their windows for the players,” she said. “In myhometown, we all painted the windows on Thursday and then washedthem off on Saturday.”

Decker-Williams, who the students call the “Sign Lady,” knowsthat no matter how the teams of Wesson Attendance Center play, theywill always have her and the town’s support.