High School Football

Two lone, symbolic black chairs unveiled at Rock Hill stadiums to honor POW/MIAs

American prisoners of war and those missing in action will always have a place to sit at Rock Hill football games.

The Rock Hill school district teamed up with Rolling Thunder, a POW/MIA charity, to install two black chairs — one of each at the city’s two football stadiums — to honor POW/MIAs.

The black chairs with the white POW/MIA logo, will remain empty at the football games to show that veterans have a place under the Friday night lights.

“It’s just a great thing to do because it symbolizes there’s still a chair waiting for those people coming home,” said 18-year-old Brianna Borier, a Northwestern High School student who helped with the project.

Tom Sparks, a former assistant principal at Northwestern and interim athletic director at the school, said he noticed that other school districts, college and professional sports teams have added the chairs and thought it would be a good idea for Rock Hill.

“We’ve got families up in the stands right now that have people that are missing in action and POWs,” Sparks said on Friday night at a ceremony to unveil the chairs.

Sparks worked with students in a Northwestern Marine Corps League to implement the idea, and Hussey Seating supplied the chairs at no cost.

On Friday night, the district unveiled the new chairs during ceremonies at both District Three Stadium and District Three Stadium South.

Red velvet ropes set the distinct cushioned chairs apart from the gray aluminum chairs in the stadium.

“America needs to understand what the sacrifices these people have made,” Sparks said, “(so) our kids don’t have to sacrifice the way they did.”

Tracy Kimball is a visual journalist for The Herald, covering York, Chester and Lancaster counties. She has worked at The Herald for 11 years. She graduated from Winthrop University and has lived in Rock Hill for 20 years.