Councilmen put pride on line for showdown

Norcross City Councilman David McLeroy might preside over the Dec. 4 council meeting wearing a North Gwinnett High School football jersey and helmet. Or perhaps Steve Edwards, a Sugar Hill city councilman, will attend Monday's meeting clad in Norcross High School's football garments.

That's the price one councilman will have to pay if his favorite team loses Friday.

Both teams are the only undefeated teams in Class AAAAA, each at 9-0. Norcross is ranked as Georgia's No. 1 team in the AP poll. North Gwinnett is ranked No. 3.

Edwards, a North Gwinnett fan, and McLeroy, a Norcross supporter, are wagering their local team will win Friday's game and the Region 7-AAAAA championship. The losing councilman must wear the opposing team's jersey and helmet throughout a City Council meeting. Both meetings are televised.

"At the municipal meetings, McLeroy is always talking about how great Norcross football is, and this time I wholeheartedly disagree," Edwards said.

Sugar Hill Mayor Gary Pirkle refuses to consider that Edwards might show up at the City Council meeting in Blue Devil football attire.

"I don't think we have to worry about that, because North Gwinnett is going to win," Pirkle said. "But he could wear the helmet and jersey - throughout the whole meeting."

Norcross City Councilman Bruce Smith is ready to help out.

"I am going to help Steve with the cost of the jersey and helmet," Smith said. "I think it's a slam dunk that Norcross will win, but if they lose, we'll let him (McLeroy) dress up. If he asks for it, he gets it. It's all about free speech."

McLeroy already has his plans laid.

"I'm going to make it a point to sit with him (Edwards) at the game with my blue and silver pom poms," McLeroy said. "If North Gwinnett loses, I'll carry them to Sugar Hill's meeting and heckle him."

Last year both teams finished 7-4, losing in the first round of the playoffs. North Gwinnett's Bob Sphire is in his first year as the Bulldogs' head coach while Keith Maloof is in his eighth season as Norcross' head coach.

Norcross City Council meeting will be televised Dec. 12. Sugar Hill's will show on Charter Cable channel 19 at 8 p.m. Nov. 20.