Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

At last week’s community pep rally, The Star-News set out to find the Bulldogs’ biggest fans.

Frank Shaffer was the most spirited adult in the running, and he says he wasn’t even competing..

“I’m just a fan of my alma mater,” Shaffer said. “Really, it’s just a matter of the pride and the tradition in my bones.”

The 1993 AHS graduate said his teachers instilled a lot in him.

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“Now that I’m a part of that staff, I want other kids to see that in me,” he said. “I want them to see the things that excite me – other than God – is them.

“I cheer for the students, I don’t cheer for the winners. I cheer for the kids because their potential is even greater than they know. Their potential far exceeds their wildest dreams. Whether we’re No. 1 in the state, or not even ranked, I want them to know, ‘Someone is on your side.’

“I cheer for the band, the football team, softball team, the soccer team, cross country, and the cheerleaders. Anyone who is part of Andalusia High School, I want them to know that you have somebody who’s willing to make themselves look like an idiot for you, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.”


Those who encounter him on Friday nights say he is a super fan. He disagrees.

“I say all of those students are superstars, and I get to participate,” he said. “It’s all about them. I would have done exact thing last Thursday if we hadn’t had any prizes.”

With that in mind, The Star-News has asked Shaffer to be help us judge our most spirited fan contest this week, when we will again choose an adult and two youth winners. He agreed, but said he’ll still be cheering.

“It’s about seeing what’s inside of the students,” he said. “I want them to know that we see something inside of them that even they don’t see. I want them to know that someone, somewhere, is proud of them.”

Shaffer is a member of the AHS staff, and says he has no job description.

Technically, I work in maintenance,” he said. “I’m a custodian, sometimes I’m a bus driver, I train bus drivers, I sub in classes, I do electrical work, I do

IT work, and I run the sound system for auditorium. I do anything I can do to make someone else’s job easier. That’s what I do.”

As a student, he was involved in an accident that claimed his father’s life and almost took his own.

“I died three times in the wreck,” he said. “I realized in the whole scheme of things, it was something bigger than me that kept me here. I never know what may be it, and I don’t want to mess it up.

“Maybe I’m here because I need to cheer for that person,” he said. “I just want to help students to see just how important they are.”

Shaffer played trumpet with the AHS Sound Tradition, and says “I loved being a band nerd, and I do, still.”
He also won the senior superlative – not surprisingly – for most spirited.

A younger Shaffer, voted "most spirited."

A younger Shaffer, voted “most spirited.”

He and his wife, Jeremie, are the parents of two children, Lorren, a Troy University junior and AHS and band alumni; and Riley, an AHS junior and band member who currently plays mellophone.