The Charlotte 49ers football team kicked off their season in Boone against App State on Saturday, but one key element of equipment was needed before players could take the field - their jerseys.
The Charlotte 49ers football team patiently awaited the arrival of their new jerseys, but when they weren't delivered until roughly 26 hours until game time it became a team effort from the athletic department to prepare and deliver the uniforms, including insurance specialist Heather Nance, who made the trip to Boone with her sewing machine.
“It is not part of my regular daily job as an insurance specialist. Once we started working on it and seeing what we had to deal with, it got to a point where the truck was ready to leave. They needed to get the other equipment up there so they could start setting things up. That's when our equipment manager just said, 'How do you feel about spending the night in Boone?' I'm like okay here we go," Nance said.
Stitch by stitch, minute by minute the clock was ticking until kickoff as Heather and the football equipment team worked tirelessly to get the 49ers jerseys ready.
"The guys went on to the field for pregame about 11:00 am, 11:15 and all but one player was out on the field for pregame and that poor, lonely player was standing in front of me waiting for me to finish stitching his jersey so that he could catch up with the rest of the team,” Nance said.
Even though this was not Nance's normal role for Charlotte athletics, she knows the 49er way is all about lending a helping hand when the team needs it.
"I was just helping. They needed help and I had the ability to help so I didn't really think much of it. I understand the importance of everything Charlotte has gone through the past year and the rebranding and trying to stay together cohesively as a team during COVID and staying in touch with everything and staying in touch with the community. The importance of showing that on our opening game was important,” Nance explained.
The Charlotte 49ers head to Chapel Hill this weekend to take on the twelfth ranked Tar Heels.