By Josh Beavers
A high school sports team can live and die by its booster club.
That’s especially true for small schools like Lakeside High which is gearing up for the Friday Night Lights 2021 edition. Tarra Smith, one of the people behind the scenes of the program, is an instrumental part of the Warriors Football Booster Club.
“The booster club is important to the football program because it helps run all of the extras for the team such as meals, concession, new uniforms, equipment,” she told The Journal via an interview over Facebook.
This year the Lakeside booster club has scheduled team meals for all game days, scheduled concession stand workers and bought new coaches Lakeside apparel to welcome them to the Warrior family.
“Without a booster club to back the team, there would be no parental or community involvement,” Smith continued. “There would be no team meals, team bonding experiences. And all of the ‘fun and exciting’ things happening at the field would fall back on the coaches, and they are busy planning and teaching the team. The way that I look at the booster club is the booster club helps make sure that anything that the team needs will get done. Anything extra.”
Denny Finley, Lakeside’s principal, said every parent wants the best for their children and a booster club provides parents with the opportunity to get more involved in the decision making process.
“You don’t need to be a wealthy contributor to make a difference in a booster club; you can help at events, hold your own fundraising events, and actively promote the school’s sports activities to other members of your local community,” Finley told The Journal. “Coaches are teachers first, which means they teach a full load and then go to their sport. Most coaches have their own families at the house and are often missing valuable time with them while coaching other people’s kids.”
Finley continued that coaches can handle a lot of what takes place on the field but need help on the other side of the fence.
“Everyone wants their kid to have the very best experience while playing a sport, but in reality there are just a handful of people working behind the scenes to make it happen,” he said. “People often only see what is on the outside of a successful program and wish that their child could be a part of it. They are missing what is on the inside helping the program be successful, which is a strong booster club full of parents and community members.”
Smith said there are lots of ways people can get involved with the booster club.
“People can get involved by volunteering to work the concession, cook in the annual steak cook off, offer to sponsor a meal for the team, or just come and show the kids that you care and want to see their program grow,” she said. “When athletes look up in the stands on Monday, Tuesday or Friday night and no one is cheering, it hurts the morale of the player. If the player has no support, why would they want to continue to play?”
The booster club holds regular meetings and needs more parental support. Interested parties can contact Smith over Facebook or any member of the Lakeside coaching staff.
“People do not realize sometimes that booster clubs can be a lot of fun for adults,” Finley said. “It can be a huge social club for the members, where everyone is pulling together to help the team and in return it makes the entire community better. A booster club is the backbone of any successful sports program. If you find a high school that traditionally wins championships, you will find a strong booster club behind the scenes.”
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE