Football booster clubs in the county do what it takes for the kids

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 23, 2016

Sports these days are more expensive than they used to be, with equipment and new generation uniforms sky rocketing in cost. To help high school sports teams stay afloat, athletic booster clubs are a necessity.

“The coaching staff of the football team has enough to worry about with coaching and planning every week. As a booster club, we are here to help raise funds and support the football team so the kids get everything they need to succeed on the field,” Hornet Touchdown Club President, for the Poplarville High School football team, Chrissie Temple said.

Temple described the relationship between the nonprofit booster club and the coaches as “reliable,” meaning they both must rely on one another to be able to function. That’s something Larry Dolan, Pearl River Central High School head football coach and athletic director, agrees with.

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“The booster club keeps our players happy. They feed them, cheer for them, and they even help fund for better equipment for these kids to use during practice,” Dolan said.

Picayune Touchdown Club President Chad Dorn sees the efforts each booster club puts into raising funds, knowing that all this volunteered work pays off when the kids are happy.

“We help fund things from the medical supplies they need on the sidelines to the Gatorade they drink,” Dorn said. “It’s very important to have these booster clubs because it gives these kids the true experience of being on a team.”

Besides conducting fundraisers throughout the year, booster clubs are in charge of game-day concessions at each team’s home game, selling food, drinks and team apparel that goes directly to funding the team.

The funds also help support the end-of-the-season banquets and trophies, weight room equipment, practice equipment, uniforms, and anything else that is needed or must be fixed around the field house and locker rooms for football.

Dorn said that every year the Picayune Touchdown Club tries to raise enough funds to afford one big project. This year, the booster club bought a bird’s-eye end zone camera, which will help the coaching staff and players study game-day film more effectively. Also, Dorn said they are selling alumni bricks that will be featured near the stadium.

One of the biggest expenses for all the booster clubs in Pearl River County is to afford the pre- and post-game meals for the players of all teams at all levels.

“Without booster clubs, it is hard to provide everything you need for the kids. The school will provide all the necessary things, but the booster club provides all the extras,” Dolan said.