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Tailgate Tour raises $25,000 for sports complex

Superior High School assistant football coach Steve Hendry, right, gets a football signed by Green Bay Packers Paul Coffman (82) and Lynn Dickey (12) at the Packers Tailgate tour stop in Superior last week. (Jed Carlson/

The Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour has wrapped up its journey for 2014, but Superior residents still have football on their minds.

High school football, that is.

“We’re all excited about the facility we’ll have,” said Bob DeMeyer, head coach of the Superior High School football team. “Thinking about the atmosphere on game nights, all the events — baseball, soccer, track and football — it will be awesome.”

Proceeds from last week’s Tailgate Tour event will support the construction of the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex, which is scheduled to be built this summer and open for the 2014 fall sports season.

SHS activities director Ray Kosey said the final total from the Packers fundraiser is still being calculated, but he estimated the figure would be very close to $25,000.

“I feel everything went well,” Kosey said. “A lot of people worked hard to put this all together.”

Kosey said attendance for Thursday’s Tailgate event was approximately 500.

The groundbreaking ceremony was also well attended, despite a fresh blanket of snow and chilly weather.

“The sun came out just in time for the groundbreaking,” said Janna Stevens, Superior school district superintendent.

Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, about 100 people mingled with the Packers indoors at the VIP Tailgate reception.

DeMeyer said he didn’t have much time to hobnob, but he did speak briefly with the retired players who attended — Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

“I grew up watching them,” DeMeyer said. “I wore No. 12 because Lynn Dickey and Steve Hendry — an assistant coach on our staff — did.”

Hendry and Dickey actually chatted at the Tailgate party. Other Packers representatives looked over plans for the new sports complex, and current players Jarrett Bush and Brad Jones engaged in a quick snowball fight just before the groundbreaking ceremony.

“I thought the entire event was fantastic; the VIP session, groundbreaking, Q&A, everything,” DeMeyer said. “All the Packer reps were high character, positive people who genuinely loved spending time with the fans. The district personnel — food service and all the volunteers — pulled things together and made it a first-class event.”

Stevens also praised the work of the district personnel and said they put on a fabulous party for the whole community.

“I would say the highlight for me was the children asking the players questions — very open honest questions from young Packer Backers,” Stevens said.

Photos from the Tailgate Tour can be found on the Superior school district website (