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It's all about the 'G' for Dooley Field's artists in residence

By Julie McCombs, Photographer
Published on Thursday, September 5, 2013

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Van Brannon lines up the templates for the painting. 

Julie McCombs

Van Brannon lines up the templates for the painting. 



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David Holtzclaw gave me the honor of hanging out with them Wednesday and recalled fun memories of evenings on the field while he was painting the

Julie McCombs

David Holtzclaw gave me the honor of hanging out with them Wednesday and recalled fun memories of evenings on the field while he was painting the "G".



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The original Dooley Field artists in residence are (l-r) David Holtzclaw, Steven

Julie McCombs

The original Dooley Field artists in residence are (l-r) David Holtzclaw, Steven "Worm" Gay, and Van Brannon. The are also three of the five members of the Yellow Jacket Sports Network that broadcast football games.



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Greer's own, Gee, helped

Julie McCombs

Greer's own, Gee, helped "supervise" the guys.

 



It is a proud feeling to walk into Dooley Field’s stadium to look for your favorite spot in the stands, sit down and see the huge black and white G on the field. I watched the G being painted on the lush turf for Friday night’s game against Riverside.

I now know exactly how much work goes into the physical task of painting all the lines and the Yellow Jackets’ iconic “G” on the field. It took all afternoon and into the late evening at the stadium.

Van Brannon, Steven "Worm" Gay, and David Holtzclaw worked 8-hour jobs before coming to the stadium. All three have been painting the field since before the turn of the century, Van for 19 years and Steven and David 16 years each. Just last year the volunteers increased by two – Joe Poole and Tony Tipton.

Van painted fields for the recreation department and was asked all those years ago by Jimmy Hunt if he would help Coach Joel Rice to paint the high school field. Van has been overseeing the job ever since.

When asked why he is still taking on such a time consuming and physical task, Van mentions how much fun they have while being out there and how he wants it to be done correctly for Greer.

Worm reflects that he has always taken on the long hours and hard work for the kids, for Greer and so that the coaches wouldn't have to after a long day at school and practice.

Coach Will Young has been helping the guys each year since he first started coaching at Greer. Van said that the first season Will started, as head coach, he and his wife, Michelle, were there to help. Van recalls Michelle bringing them dinner to the field.

I watched Coach Young arrive around 7:30 and immediately grab a can of paint and begin to help. The paint, which is purchased by the athletic department, used to only be purchased by the can and sprayed by hand, using templates. Now the paint machine is used but it still takes 6-7 people around 7-8 hours to finish the strenuous job.

There were no complaints tonight. The team of helpers was laughing as they worked until 11 p.m. Thanks to these hardworking volunteers, the job is done and the G is now proudly awaiting the fans and players on Friday night. Let's go Jackets! 

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