Fan in the Stands: Hallsville's Super Fan
HALLSVILLE - At any Hallsville football game, there's one fan you can't miss. His name is Chris Ashburn.
"He runs around, and he won't give you beads unless you're really loud, and you smile pretty," said Hallsville fan Stephanie Anderson. "He's just a great guy. He's really into the sports. He loves the kids. He loves the fans."
"Chris is Mr. Football," said Mike March, another Hallsville fan. "He's just the energy of this Hallsville Indian team."
For the last two years during each home game, Ashburn dons purple, white, and gold face paint, along with a matching striped Cherokee Indian headdress. A Cherokee Indian tribe in North Carolina made the headdress and shipped it to Hallsville at Ashburn's request. Also part of his wardrobe, a real reflex bow that Ashburn usually uses for hunting.
So when Friday nights roll around, the 42-year-old Hallsville resident knows his role in the stands.
"I try to pump them up. I do whatever it takes when the crowd gets down. I try to get them back up. When I know the boys need us, that's when I know I have to do my job," said Ashburn.
Ashburn and his family moved to Hallsville 10 years ago. He and his wife, Anna, have three kids. Even they joke that he's a little crazy.
"He's crazy," said Ashburn's wife Anna. "He is. A lot actually, but in a great way. It's contagious."
And Ashburn's youngest child, nine-year-old Jake, likes what he sees from his dad.
"He makes the fans cheer, and jumps all around and stuff," said Jake with a smile.
Although Ashburn is far removed from his high school days, he has already left quite an impression on the Hallsville students.
"He gets everybody to the game. He gets everybody pumped up. I think that's why our team has like the most spirit," said Hallsville junior Nathan Katz.
Indian spirit comes easy for Asburn, who says he is about a quarter Cherokee.
"Our motto is an Indian word called currahee," said Ashburn. "Currahee means 'we stand a lone together.' We believe that if the community comes together, if we're there to support the football program, anything is possible."
Ever since the football team's first season in 2006, Ashburn has been a popular figure, and he has left his a unqiue mark on the community.
"What I'm known most by is the kids in this community. I coach a lot. I coach football. I coach baseball. I've got kids in school. So most of the kids in Hallsville know me."