MACON, Ga. — There is no doubt Jones County has great fans. They show up to the barking lot every Friday night.
But there is one woman who is the Greyhounds' biggest cheerleader, and she sings the praises of the purple and gold from the airwaves in the morning.
"I mean that's half the fun is meeting new people," Laura Starling said.
Starling meets and talks to a lot of folks. For 37 years, you've heard her early in the morning on WDEN -- a country music radio station.
Besides her cheerful personality, listeners get a hearty helping of Jones County love.
"The (listeners) do know I'm from Jones County. I do talk about Jones County more than other counties and I'm sorry for that," she said with a sheepish grin.
There is no need to apologize, she's got deep roots. Her partner in crime in the mornings, Vance Shepherd, thinks it's kinda special.
"She is one of the greatest friends to Jones County. She's got that connection and she never lost it," Shepherd said.
Starling isn't embarrassed to say she graduated in 1979 -- 40 years ago. She's still got her class ring and it fits.
"On this side it's 79 and it's got my name on it," she said with the ring in her hand.
But she is shy about a big honor that came her way.
"I was voted most likely," she said as she paused and laughed. She was voted 'Most Likely to Succeed.'
"I'm still waiting for that to happen," she said. Though it seems like it did.
Laura has found her space and a platform to share her passion for a small community, a town that loves its football team.
Jones County is 2-0 this year and the DJ knows win or lose that the stands will always be full on a Friday night.
"I think what you have in Jones County is that small town community, you know that camaraderie with everybody. Everybody wants to see the football team do a great job and we're all proud of them, so Jones County while it's growing and there are lots of people moving into the county, you've still got that small town feel," she said.
Starling still has ties to the school; two of her godchildren attend Jones County High.
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