Old meets new

SWD_Old_GoldSWD debuts new ‘old gold’ jerseys

The past and present came together Aug. 18 when the Southwest DeKalb High School football team debuted its new gold jerseys against Redan.

The jerseys are replicas of the old gold jerseys that the Panthers football teams wore in the late 1980s and 90s, but with the tight fit of today’s football jerseys. Coach Damien Wimes, a 1991 graduate who played football at Southwest DeKalb, said one his first tasks when he was hired as the new head coach in February was to bring back the old golds.

“It was important that we got a custom-made jersey,” he said. “I wanted to recreate the gold jerseys. That was a big thing in Southwest’s history, and a really big thing to coach [Buck] Godfrey when I was playing there.”

Wimes said he wanted the same company, Bob’s Athletics in Moultrie, Ga., that made the old jerseys to make the new ones because they could match the same color. Once they were made, they were paid by Rick Bush of Prime Time Barbershop. Bush, and his wife Kenyatta—who are both 1993 graduates of Southwest DeKalb—requested to be sponsors and pay for the jerseys, which cost nearly $8,000.

Bush said this is he and his wife first year doing sponsorship with the school.

“We just wanted to give back because we both went to Southwest DeKalb, and with the business doing well I figured that was the best way to give back to the kids,” he said. “It was an honor for me to do it. I thank God we’re in this position to give back, and we will keep giving back.”

Wimes and the team presented the Bushes a jersey with the number 93, which represents their graduating class. He said partnering with Bush and Prime Time Barbershop is a way to connect the players with the community.


“I think when a lot of people saw us doing some other stuff in the community such as the car washes, the youth camps and everything, I think people wanted to be a part of that,” Wimes said.

“For Rick, that was a real sacrifice to do that and in return we want to make sure that we let people know that he did that for us because people need to support his businesses. He supported us, so people need to support his businesses.”

The jerseys all so includes a Panther logo on each shoulder blade. Wimes said that was something new that they wanted to add.

“I didn’t know how it would look at first,” he said. “When I saw the prototype of it I thought that was a way to make [the jersey] better.”

The team is also going back to wearing all black Nike cleats with white socks, another old tradition. Wimes said he has gotten positive responses from a few former players about the jerseys.

“[The old players] loved it. It was big,” he said. “I think people just like the effort we are showing to not only recreate some things from the past, but also pressing forward to bring the community together. They loved it.”

“It brings back memories,” Bush, who did not play football, said. “The old gold uniforms are like old times.”

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