Game ball delivered at Branford Stadium on 50 yard line
Recently the Branford Buccaneers Football Pre-Season Kickoff Classic received the game ball at the 50 yard line from local life flight company Air Life 7, of Air Methods, located at the Suwannee County Airport in Live Oak. - Photo: Air Life 7
Superintendent of Suwannee County Schools Ted Roush and former Head Coach Cleve Sikes, who the field is named after, walked across the field to receive the ball from Air Life 7 crew members Brant Johnson and Anthony Davis. - Photo: Air Life 7
By Tami Stevenson
The recent Branford Buccaneers Football Pre-Season Kickoff Classic began with a helicopter delivering the game ball on the 50 yard line at Branford Stadium. Fans from both sides, Fort White and Branford, had their cell phones out recording the impressive and slightly windy event.
Superintendent of Suwannee County Schools Ted Roush and former Head Coach Cleve Sikes, the field’s namesake, walked out and received the ball from Air Life 7 crew members Brant Johnson and Anthony Davis, while crew member Aaron Johns took photographs from the ground during the event. All Air Life 7 crew members are Paramedic Flight Nurses.
Air Life 7 is an emergency air medical transport (life flight) base located at the Suwannee County Airport in Live Oak. Paramedic Flight Nurse Tommy Cochran is their lead base supervisor. They will be celebrating their 10th anniversary this January.
“This is a way to be a part of the community and show our support for the teams in the area,” said Aaron Johns.
Branford’s Head Coach Tim Clark said he thought it was a great way to start off the season. “Right before the national anthem they had everybody, including the players from both teams, get along the fence. The helicopter slowly flew in and descended in the middle of the field and brought the game ball to us on the 50 yard line. It got windy but it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t too loud either, it was perfect.” He added the pre-season game was well attended. “I thought it was a really cool experience for everyone that was there. It was a pretty cool sight to see before the game. I was thankful they offered and were willing to do that for us,” added Coach Clark.
The Pre-Season Kickoff Classic was between the Buccaneers and Fort White’s Indians. Varsity played the first three quarters, and JV played the fourth. By the end of the third quarter, the Indians were in the lead with a score of 21-6. Fort White’s JV team scored another touchdown during the fourth quarter, with a final score of 27-6.
Air Life 7’s parent company, Air Methods, has been helping save lives in the U.S. for more than four decades. According to their website, Air Methods delivers care to more than 100,000 patients per year, and only responds when a physician or a first-responder calls them. They transport patients from one hospital to another and pick up patients from ambulances and provide emergency care en-route to a hospital.