In 2008, a Freshman named Chris Duble came to play football at Ferrum College. On the roster, Duble stood 6' and weighed 185 lbs. As a Freshman, he was not assigned a number on the roster, but I am sure he had one. He saw action in one game that year, against Southern Virginia University. Duble was not destined to be the greatest receiver in Ferrum history, but he brought hustle, determination and desire to the team. He also brought something else to the college's program, and for those of us that follow Ferrum football closely it was something that we will not soon forget. Duble brought his Mom.
Tammi Armstrong has for the last five seasons been a fixture on the Panthers sideline. She, with her shoulder length blond hair, has paced the sidelines with the ferocity of any head coach, and with the photographic talent worthy of Sports Illustrated publishing. For five years, Armstrong has, to my knowledge never missed a game...home or away. Living in Northern Virginia, Tammi would for 10 straight weeks drive to wherever the Panthers were playing. Whether it be Shenandoah in Winchester, or Methodist in Fayetteville, Armstrong would be there to take pictures of the Ferrum Panthers.
Not only did she attend all of the games, she has been at Fall Camp to assist in any way she could, and at the awards banquet every year. ( If she ever missed any of these, I am not aware of it)
As a rough and likely low estimate, I would guess that by this final awards banquet, Tammi would have taken over 15,000 pictures, and driven over 15,000 miles with, to my knowledge, no compensation or reimbursement from the college. Strictly for the love of her son Chris, and her passion for sports, Tammi has provided Ferrum with a service, that will forever be a part of the Ferrum football program.
Not only has she left a mark on the program, Tammi has left a mark on those around her. Former and current players, parents, coaches, and dare I say a few referees will not forget Tammi.
She has seen and captured a lot of the Ferrum football program, but two things she did not see were a win over rival CNU, nor a win over her beloved alma mater Emory and Henry. I am guessing that if she could be guaranteed either, she would make the trip to photograph it.
I write this with the purpose of not only drawing attention to a fervent supporter of the Ferrum program, but with the purpose of expressing my personal thanks for allowing me to use her photo's on the blog. It adds a lot.
So what will happen next year? Chris, who has completed his playing eligibility, has served as a student assistant this year, and will soon graduate. As for Tammi, I would expect that she will follow Ferrum, but my guess is that she will likely stay closer to Northern Virginia...but that's just a guess. On the other hand, she may just find herself next August loading her camera and Pineapple Fanta into her car, and headed to Franklin County.
Thanks Tammi- Great Job!