AHS chain crew keeps football game going

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 8, 2017

Players, referees and coaches usually hold the clout on a football field.

There is one job on the football field, though, that has stood the entirety of the sport and holds an importance that not many fans are aware of.

The chain gang, the group that marks the line-to-gain and moves up and down the field throughout the course of a game.

It’s a job that goes largely un-thanked, but the game itself would be chaos without this group.

Andalusia High School has a chain gang that involves four members; two men on each side of the line-to-gain markers, one man who holds the down marker, and one man who holds the ball-marking clip.

Jeff Puckett, a local of Andalusia, is the man on the crew that holds the down marker.

Puckett has been a part of the AHS chain gang for 10 years, and has seen quite a few crew members come and go in that span.

“I received a call 10 years ago asking if I would help,” Puckett said. “It kind of just stuck from there.”

Over the course of those 10 years, Puckett has held the down marker in more than 50 games, including playoff games last year.

Puckett’s current team also includes Randy Capps, Bobby Pollard and Zach Smith.

The team, which is selected by head coach Trent Taylor, has been together for two years in total.

“I have a good connection with these guys,” Puckett said. “That’s important when we’re moving up and down the field and we can do it without having to say anything.”

Even though it is work on the field, Puckett has developed a relationship with his team off the field.

“We all hang out before the games,” Puckett said. “We go and tailgate, hang out and spend time with family together.”

Aside from the job, Puckett enjoys watching the players come and go from the system.

“We get to watch all of the kids grow up,” Puckett said. “It’s nice seeing the kids who go and play after, having watched them for so long.”

Puckett said the job comes with its perks, and that’s what has kept him around so long.

“We have the best seat in the house,” Puckett said. “We see all the action close up.”