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Frankston, Arp Teams Honor Fallen East Texas Soldier

Friday night, team mascots were put aside in Frankston and yellow was the school color for the Indians and the Arp Tigers.  

The game was dedicated to Private 1st Class Heath Pickard. The 21-year-old graduate of Frankston High School died two weeks ago in a mortar attack in Iraq.

Heath played football and baseball for Frankston. Friday night he was honored as a hero by the home fans and by strangers from 50 miles away. 

"We took yellow tape, all the players wore yellow tape on their wrist, some of them spatted their ankles with it," said Frankston coach Sam Wells. "All the coaches had it on their wrists as well in honor of Heath."

"I think it's just a great act of respect for the kind of sacrifice that Heath was able to make for his country," Frankston running back Phillip Bruno said. 

The opposing team Arp cheerleaders wore yellow ribbons in their hair and spent three days making a sign that stretches over 40 yards. The sign reads, "Thank You Pickard Family for Your Ultimate Sacrifice, Love, The Arp Tigers."

Arp left the sign as a gift to Frankston.

"They have a classy group of people in Arp," Coach Wells said. "From the administration to the bottom, just great people in Arp."

Most everyone in Arp does not know the Pickard family, and for that reason, Frankston fans said the Tigers went above and beyond.

"Everybody wore something yellow," Arp cheerleader Mikayla Moore said. "Our band did, our twirlers did, cheerleaders, volleyball players and we just want to show them our support."

"A big part of our community are veterans and we really appreciate everything that they do and everything that they have done for us in the past," Arp cheerleading sponsor Debbie Frazier said. "So honoring a deceased veteran was a very important thing to us."

The Frankston Indians said they will now dedicate the remainder of the season to Private

"If you think about the sacrifice of a soldier, someone that puts there all out there for you, everyday of their life and that's their world," Phillip Bruno said. "Then for us, if you can just put that out 48 minutes for a game and give it 110 percent, give it everything you've got, in the memory of what he's done for us. That's what we intend to do for each and every game from here on out."

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