THOMASVILLE --She may be 85 years old and confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn't stop Sarah Annie Floyd from watching her beloved Thomasville Bulldogs on the football field, on the basketball court and at the baseball diamond.
Just as it's normal to see Bill Rainey working the P.A. system at home games on Friday nights, Floyd can always be seen in the middle of the home bleachers on the second row with her family and friends.
"We've sat in those four seats ever since the side was built," Floyd said.
"I don't care what Thomasville High School is doing," said Floyd's son, Howard. "If they're playing marbles, she's supporting them."
"She's been consumed by Thomasville athletics," Thomasville principal Bobby Smith said. "She's totally loyal to everything we're doing."
Floyd lives and breathes Thomasville sports. Need proof? Take a stroll by her house. Along the pathway to her house, there's a bulldog statue keeping close watch outside on one side of her steps. On the other side is a sign hanging in the bushes that reads "Bulldog Country." Walk up the steps and enter the house, and what appears to be any ordinary home is anything but. A stroll down the hallway and one will notice pictures, books, anything that has to do with Thomasville. This is before you enter the Dawg House, a special room Floyd has set aside for memories of present and past Bulldogs.
"Everything in here's got a story," Floyd said. "Some of them are good, and some of them are bad." From anything to jerseys of former players to pictures of her with some of Thomasville's best players, Floyd has set aside her own little memory lane. On a mantle piece are several trophies, symbolizing those few Thomasville Bulldogs that went on to play for the University of Georgia, Floyd's second favorite team. From Mike Bobo to Alphonso Ellis, Floyd has a special place in her heart for all of them.
"They're Bulldog/Bulldogs. That's the best you could be," Floyd said. The room brought back memories of former Thomasville Bulldog and Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket quarterback Shawn Jones. Though he went to Georgia's arch rival, Floyd still found herself cheering for him.
"I pulled for Shawn, but not the team," Floyd said jokingly. "I pulled for them to do good but not quite good enough."
While Floyd has been very faithful to Thomasville, she's had to have help in getting her to the sporting events. Her children, Howard Floyd and Cynthia Miller, drive her to the games. "We love to see her involved," Howard said.
Her school spirit doesn't stop with the bulldogs statue outside her home and the jerseys and pictures filling up one of her rooms inside her house. A quick look at her and there's no doubting who her favorite team is. At the football games, baseball games or just sitting in her home, Floyd wears the colors red and gold, the famed colors of Thomasville high school.
"That's all I've got," Floyd said. "Somebody asked my son at church one time, does your mom wear anything other than red? My son said not if she can help it.
"I do wear red and black some (Georgia colors). I will be buried in red."
"That's pretty much it," Howard said. "That's her wardrobe."
"I don't think I have ever seen her in anything other than red and gold," Thomasville athletic director Margie York said. "She's probably the No. 1 fan of Thomasville athletics."
Then there's the issue of Thomasville's cross-town rival, Thomas County Central, who Floyd genuinely refers to as the 'other school.' Though she would not comment on the 1993 Thomasville-Thomas County Central championship game, Floyd did say something about that 'other school.'
"Well.....well.........well, I'm better than I used to be," Floyd said after about a minute pause.
While Floyd appears to have a disliking for the Yellow Jackets, it's not all bad blood between her and Thomas County Central.
"I've got some good friends out there," Floyd said. "I have some times with Frank Delaney and Charlie Ward Sr.
"One man at church had on a Yellow Jackets tie, and he rubbed my arm," Floyd said. "I told him if I break out, it'll probably be something there's no cure for."
"It's bad," Floyd said. "But when I talk to people, they say that's the way everywhere there is a city and county schools together.
While Floyd is a loyal fan of Thomasville, she's just as loyal of the Bulldogs team that plays between the hedges. Floyd even has a sign in her home that says Georgia 37, Florida 17, the last time the Bulldogs beat the Gators in 1997. While Floyd may have a genuine disliking for that 'other school', it could be just as bad with the Florida Gators. As Floyd displayed her sign, she pointed out a Bible verse, Psalm 37:17 that reads, 'For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.'
After 78 years of supporting Thomasville football, Floyd continues to be just as faithful as she was when her dad first took her in 1925.
"For her to be at the age she is and still showing support for Thomasville athletics, I think that says the kind of person she is," York said. "I think it's a tribute to her family for getting her there."
"Some people are sports fans and some are Bulldogs fans," Smith said, "I think she transcends all of that.
"She's so young at heart. She knows the secret of youth, staying around young people. She hates losing, I think, worse than coaches do."
After more than 75 years of watching and supporting Thomasville football, what's the one memory that stands out for Floyd.
"Probably the state championship in Toccoa (in 1988), when we won in the last minute," Floyd said. "When it was over, I don't know how I got on the field so quick. That's one you don't ever forget."
Floyd also remembered the frigid temperatures during that memorable evening.
"I'm telling you it was awful," Floyd said. "We had on all the clothes we could get on. I couldn't hardly stand up."
Though she's missed only four football games in the past 26 years, Floyd made it clear that she's not planning to let up anytime soon.
"I don't ever get tired of it," Floyd said. "Never have I not wanted to go."
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Funeral services for Anthony Payne ( Mose) Morrell, 76, of Pelham will be held Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 11:00AM at Willis-Jamerson-Braswell Funeral Home. The Rev. Ed Green will officiate and interment will be at Pinecrest Memory Gardens. Pallbearers will be the Hardee's Coffee Club, Gene Wil…