Carla Allen knows what a good story is. Allen is also good at pushing the story forward and adding a new element to make the tale even better.
When Allen heard of the Wildcats’ new ritual this postseason to use royal blue poker chips as a reminder for the team to be “All In,” she wanted to get the whole school involved.
Millbrook held a pep rally Friday afternoon to celebrate the Wildcats reaching the NCHSAA 4A championship game for the second consecutive year. During the event, many teachers and staff members wore the same T-shirt: A royal blue shirt with “We’re All In” going across the chest.
And yes, five poker chips are on the shirt, too. It was just the way Allen wanted the shirts to be printed before the pep rally.
Allen and a few other teachers started selling the shirts to other teachers and students for $10 Friday morning.
By the end of the day, the faculty and staff at Millbrook had bought more than 150 “We’re All In” T-shirts.
There was also an extra incentive to buy the shirt: With the purchase, the teacher or staff member could write their initials on a royal blue poker chip and throw it in a bucket – just the way the Wildcats, one by one, dropped their chip in before every game during these playoffs.
“I wanted (the idea) to bring the teachers together when I heard of the girls’ story,” said Allen, a counselor at Millbrook. “Once our staff knew about it, everyone wanted to buy a shirt and put their chip in the bucket.”
Just before Millbrook plays West Forsyth tonight at Reynolds Coliseum, the Wildcats will receive the bucket full of poker chips from the teachers.
“I can really feel the support of the staff,” coach Chris East said. “They’ve been behind this team and we appreciate it. We hope they come out in full force.”
Allen knew plenty of Millbrook fans would wear their “We’re All In” T-shirts at the championship game.
When Korrie Blanchard, a Spanish teacher, heard of Allen’s idea, she knew the school spirit will reach a new high.
“I know the whole school is behind the girls,” Blanchard said. “I just hope this idea will be that little extra motivation for the girls.”
Turns out, it was motivation for the entire school.