Saturday when the Yellow Jackets take the field to play for the state championship, they will be representing all of Union County — not just Union. For five years now the students in Union County have shared one high school yet so often it’s still thought of and referred to as just “Union.”
During the media press conference I attended in Columbia on Monday, Hartsville’s coach made mention of the talent in “Union” just as many others have. It’s a forgivable blunder because like most folks, he remembers the Union Yellow Jackets that won five state championships between 1990-2002.
Outsiders easily associate the black and gold with “Union” and when we hear the slip of tongue, we smile and nod like we didn’t catch it.
Here in Union County, though, we know how sensitive the subject is.
When the schools were combined in 2007 it marked the end of the three high schools, not two.
Jonesville and Lockhart high schools are no more. Union High School is no more.
That’s been difficult for a lot of us to accept. Being a Lockhart girl who is awfully proud of her roots, I was devastated to learn of the consolidation plans in 2007.
No more Red Devil football? No more Jonesville/Lockhart High rivalry games?
I played a lot of ball in a maroon and white jersey and was a part of some exciting games, many of which were against our cross-town rivals.
I had hoped that when I had kids some day, they would get to carry on the tradition of wearing the maroon No. 4 that Gradys love.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Our high school is Union County. Our colors are black and gold. Our mascot is the Yellow Jacket. If Union County wins a state championship on Saturday night, it will belong to Jonesville and Lockhart as much as it does Union.
We are Union County: Let’s be proud of where we came from and excited about where we’re heading.