Showing Spirit in Style

Maranda Johnson folds red and white t-shirts, while wearing one, at DNJ Designs, one of several businesses in El Campo selling Ricebirds merchandise. 

El Campoans are readying their red and white spirit gear for the upcoming round two playoff game against Beeville’s A.C. Jones High School on Friday.

El Campo alumni Melaney Bullard is excited about the Ricebirds’ upcoming game.

“My husband and I are 1979 EC alumni,” Melaney Bullard said on the Leader-News Facebook page. “We’ve had season tickets since graduating. Once a Ricebird, always a Ricebird!”

The El Campo High School Ricebirds entered the playoffs with a 8-2 record, beating Fredericksburg High School to make it to round two. The last time they qualified for playoffs was in 2017.

“I’ve been a Ricebirds fan all my life,” Lillian Green said. “I’m 65 now. It’s their time to shine and win it all.”

Local business DNJ Designs will be launching bi-district shirts Wednesday in honor of the Ricebirds’ success. The store sells El Campo t-shirts, ear-warmers and other spirit gear.

Owner Nicole Johnson’s son plays for the team.

“We’re always proud of our Ricebirds, especially number 14,” Johnson said.

In spite of the excitement from loyal fans, local business owners have not seen an increase in sales for Ricebird-themed merchandise.

Sweet Tees Owner Mickie Wagner hasn’t noticed a higher business volume since the Ricebirds qualified for playoffs. The store offers custom t-shirts for fans.

Ricebird merchandise sales this year have been abnormal compared to previous years, according to DNJ Designs Owner Nicole Johnson.

“We’re definitely not seeing the numbers we normally do,” Johnson said. “Hopefully our boys continue to bring home the win.”

Perhaps fans will buy more Ricebirds t-shirts if the cold weather thaws before the upcoming game.

“I been a Ricebird all my life,” Mario Cruz said. “I even work the games. So good luck this Friday.”

The round two playoff game will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Port Lavaca at Sandcrab Stadium at 525 Commerce Street.

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