By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika’s 2016-17 school year ended last Friday night with graduation ceremonies at Bulldog Stadium.
The 2017-18 school starts in August but athletes work out during the summer preparing for the upcoming season. The AHSAA changed their rules a year ago allowing more days for each sport to work out with coaches and play games.
The baseball, softball and and girls and boys basketball teams start playing games and practicing the first week of June. Other teams, including football, will start working out in the coming weeks.
ALL-SPORTS BOOSTER CLUB
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club is in the process of renewing corporate sponsorships and adding new ones.
The ASBC contributed almost $90,000 to Opelika school athletics.
The ASBC corporate sponsorship program brings in 85 percent of the revenues. Ad sales and individual donations make up the remaining 15 percent.
The ASBC transfers each sport a certain amount of money before September of each school year. Recipients include the OMS athletic department, cheerleaders and Bulldog Pride cheerleaders.
As needs arise during the year, the coach of the particular team will send a request with the amount needed and an explanation. The Board of Directors of ASBC considers the request and renders a decision. Most of the time, the full amount of money requested is approved. In some cases, the ASBC may not be able to provide the full amount requested. When this occurs, a mutual amount is agreed upon.
The ASBC is in charge of the football/athletic program sold at home football games. The Opelika cheerleaders help sell the individual and business ads. The cheerleaders receive 25 percent of the proceeds from each ad sold. This helps fund the cheerleader program.
The club helped purchase rings for individual state championship teams and individuals, such as diving champion Conner Pruitt, and the Opelika indoor and outdoor track teams.
Travel is a huge cost for teams competing for a state championship, and the ASBC assists with this cost. As an example, the OHS girls and boys track and field teams needed $6,000 for hotel rooms at the state meet. This expense was covered by the Booster Club.
There are many other needs that arise during the course of a school year which are met, in whole or in part, by ASBC.
Corporate sponsors and other boosters play a vital role in the success of Opelika athletics. The All-Sports Booster Club funds are kept in an account in the OCS system. A purchase order must be filled out and signed by the president or a Booster Board member and Dr. Seymore before it can be processed.
As you can see, the All-Sports Booster Club is an important asset for athletics at OMS and OHS.
If you are an existing corporate sponsor, I hope you will renew for the upcoming school year. If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor or would like more information, please email me, D.Mark Mitchell email@example.com.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.