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Eldridge, Luxton honored by boosters

TOP: For her dedication to the OHS sports program, Diana Eldridge earned the Booster Lifetime Achievement award and received her very own varsity jacket. Coach Bud Rowley’s in back helping her slip it on. BOTTOM: Russ Luxton (center) received a plaque from the Athletic Boosters for everything he does from working all the concession stands to maintaining the baseball fields. Luxton’s flanked by Booster officers J.R. Lafnear (left) and Scott Bocquet. Photos by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
June 16, 2010 - Two individuals who have donated countless hours over the years in support of high school sports were honored by the Oxford Wildcat Athletic Boosters last week.

Diana Eldridge received the Booster Lifetime Achievement award for doing just about everything for the student-athletes including packing lunches, putting up tents, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, providing Gatorade and juice boxes by the gallon, and creating centerpieces for banquets.

"This lady worked for hours and days," said Head Football Coach Bud Rowley. "I'm telling you, this lady is amazing.

Over the years, she's lent her time and hands to the football, wrestling, cheerleading and softball programs.

(click for larger version)
"From all of the football players, coaches and fans, thank you and you are a true Oxford Wildcat," Rowley said.

For her efforts and devotion, a visibly-moved Eldridge was awarded her very own Oxford varsity jacket featuring emblems representing all of the school's sports.

"I was surprised," she said. "I have some big shoes to fill, especially following Helen (Smith) and Andy Vascassenno. I was honored."

"I was really touched. Not sure I deserved it, but everybody assures me that I did," Eldridge added.

Russ Luxton was awarded a special plaque in appreciation of all the time and hard work he continues to devote to Oxford athletics.

"The more I learned about him, the more I watched him work, the more I saw the dedication that he had, not for personal glory, not because he needed to do it, but because he wanted to do it," said Booster President Scott Bocquet.

Luxton's contributions range from working the football, baseball and indoor concession stands to making sure the baseball field is well-maintained.

"Every one of you athletes has been touched by him – you may not know it," Bocquet said.

Luxton was surprised by the honor and extremely grateful for it.

"They caught me off guard. I had no clue. That knocked me for a loop," he said. "I was very overwhelmed and very much appreciated it."

Luxton explained why he does all that he does for Oxford sports.

"I did it for the kids," he said. "I didn't do it for any other reason, but the kids and my children. I hope someday that my kids will do the same."

"I just wish that more parents would step up," Luxton noted.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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