Loyal Raccoon Fan for over a Half-Century

If you consider yourself a devoted Friday Night Lights fan, think again. A man by the name of Allen Jolly has attended almost every Oconomowoc High School Football game since 1958. From the trip to the Division 1 state finals in 1987, to the notorious 2013 Homecoming game where the Raccoons broke a state record in total points scored, Jolly has been there. In over sixty years of loyalty to the Raccoons, he has only missed four games! But surprisingly, Jolly wasn’t always a fan of the purple and gold.  

Jolly was born in 1933 in the small town of Gaffney, South Carolina on a cotton farm. The town of Gaffney was a passionate place when it came to Friday Night Lights, so much so that all the businesses would close early on Fridays so the entire community could attend the football games. His childhood love for the game stayed with him his entire life. Jolly later moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he enrolled in the Air Force. Soon after moving here, Jolly met the love of his life when visiting Ixonia, marrying her only three short months after meeting. Jolly officially moved to Ixonia in 1958 and started attending the Raccoons football games that fall. Only back then, the Racoons played at Roosevelt Park, where Jolly helped the team out by maintaining the football field, carefully preparing it for every Friday night.

Although none of Jolly’s children were ever members of the team, he still attended every game--even the ones that took him far away from Oconomowoc. His loyalty and contribution to the Raccoons soon became a family tradition. Now, Jolly’s children and grandchildren come with him to support and cheer on the Raccoons. But for a while now, Jolly has been able to cheer on the Raccoons for a different reason. Five of his grandchildren have actually played for the Raccoons, and one is still on the team to this day!

So the next time you’re at an Oconomowoc High School Football game, look for Jolly wearing a plaid shirt in the bleachers on the 50-yard line, about the fourth row down, on the North side. What you’ll see is a man who isn’t just sitting there to enjoy a nice game of football on a Friday night. What you’ll see is a man that has seen Oconomowoc Football--and maybe Oconomowoc as a whole--come to life before his very eyes. What you will see is a man who has made the Raccoons a part of his life for over half a century.

OconomowocEthan Stratman