Published: Feb 12, 2013 06:00 PM
Modified: Feb 12, 2013 04:22 PM
FUQUAY-VARINA - Fifteen years ago, a failed quest to find white basketball shorts for their sons led Tracy and Lorraine Dotson to open their own sporting-goods store.
Now, the couples sons are leading them to make another career decision: The Dotsons are closing the Fuquay Sports Shop on downtowns Broad Street at the end of the month. They plan to move to Asheville to be near their three sons.
Fuquay-Varina High School students will likely miss the shop. Since 2006, the store has been the go-to destination for Orange Crush T-shirts, a staple at football games.
Seven years ago, a group of high school seniors asked Lorraine Dotson to help them design a T-shirt to show their school spirit. Orange is one of the schools colors, and the teens decided they wanted Orange Crush printed on the shirts.
Lorraine Dotson, 57, made the shirts, but the youngsters never picked them up. So Dotson set out the shirts in the store and lo and behold, they sold.
And theyve continued to sell, locally and all over the country.
Each year, Dotson comes up with a new design. She even does special-edition versions at studentsrequest. She designed a pink Orange Crush T-shirt when students had a pink-out at a football game for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The shirts have paved the way for an organized student club at Fuquay-Varina High School Orange Crush, of course. The club, which is in its first year, has about 200 members who cheer on the football team.
Hundreds more students who arent in the club don Orange Crush shirts, said faculty adviser Carole Barber.
Its a loss, because when you needed something, everyone goes to the Sports Shop, Barber said. Its going to be tough to replace.
The Dotsons want to sell the store to new owners, but they havent had any luck. They hope a new owner will continue to make and sell the Orange Crush shirts.
Moving will be bittersweet, Lorraine Dotson said.
We started this because our oldest son was playing basketball with the (Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association) and required white basketball shorts, she said. We were scrambling all over Raleigh and Cary, and they were nowhere to be found. My husband said, I know who would have it the Fuquay-Varina Sports Shop.
Their original shop was on the 100 block of South Main Street. They sold white basketball shorts, and eventually trophies, sports accessories and customized corn hole boards.
Ive done this for 15 and a half years, Dotson said. Im ready for a new challenge.