Faithful Father and Fans Feed the Golden Bulls
Russell Ransom (left) of Richmond, Va., his cousin Travis Gleaton (right) and wife, Belinda (center) of Greenville, S.C., cook to feed the Golden Bulls football team, including son and senior player Cameron Ransom.
Most fans at JCSU’s tailgating section cook for a few friends at football games. But Russell Ransom of Richmond, Va., along with his cousin Travis Gleaton and wife, Belinda of Greenville, S.C., cook to feed the Golden Bulls football team, including son and senior offensive lineman Cameron Ransom.
At least 40 to 50 players and a few of the coaches show up on a typical game day, and as many as 100 players on a big day. “When they win, they eat a lot,” says Travis of the players. “When they don’t win they come over and talk about the game,” added Russell. “You’ve got to build them up and encourage them.”
Either way, the players come hungry after the game and enjoy the complimentary meal. Their hosts purchase all of the food for each game, transport it to Charlotte, cook and feed the players. It’s a tradition that began during Cameron’s sophomore year.
“I don’t look at the expense part of it,” said Russell, who constantly shops for bargains. “Being a Dad and being a model for my son is what it’s all about. I hope I am a positive male model in the lives of these young men.”
Russell and Travis always wear crimson and cream, the colors of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Travis, who does most of the cooking, has seven children and also cooks for one of his son’s high school football teams.
"It means a lot to me knowing I have family to support me and my teammates," said Cameron. After the Homecoming football game, which was the last time Cameron would play on Eddie C. McGirt Field, he was surprised by the even larger turnout for the tailgate event. He was greeted by his grandmother, who made a special surprise visit, a decked out tent with a banner congratulating him on his football career with JCSU, and a DJ to stir up a dance party.
"It's been great playing for JCSU all these years," he said. "I'll miss it, but next Homecoming, I'll be here cooking out."