After admittedly scaling back a bit last year to reorganize, the Tehachapi Warrior Boosters are trying to ramp up fundraising this summer to make sure our teams at Tehachapi High School have what they need in 2019-20. Call this the proverbial Bat-signal, if you will. I’m putting this one out over the hills of Tehachapi, the closest thing we have to the skyscrapers of Gotham.
The Boosters need your help more than ever. This summer there are new and exciting things planned, along with the potential for some new corporate memberships and much more. It’s time to take this organization to the next level when it comes to athletic fundraising for the Warriors. But they can’t do it with a small board and shrinking membership. They just need some bodies for a worthy cause.
In 2011 the organization, the nonprofit arm of THS Athletics, adopted the following mission statement. “The Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club is a nonprofit volunteer organization that raises money with the help of Tehachapi High School sports programs, by providing non-intrusive but desired services and entertainment. Funds distribution to school sports programs is for the benefit of safety, basic needs, enhancing participation and performance and general aesthetics for the student-athletes or facilities.”
Some of those statements couldn’t ring truer today. As society shifts it's no secret that many student-athletes are electing for a life outside sports. I firmly believe the goals of enhancing participation, performance and general aesthetics go hand in hand.
While many of us who came up through Tehachapi High School probably could not have cared less about our uniforms, these days, it’s a big deal for athletes. Feeling special and looking important on and off the field and courts is a desired benefit to student-athletes. Shabby uniforms and lackluster facilities are a detriment to pride. The Boosters have always helped to fill that gap, and we can’t let that slip.
While high school athletics is the last true bout of amateurism left in America, it too has been affected by private schools, television contracts and national rankings. When local private schools competing against Tehachapi can throw lucrative deals to hire away a coach from one of the-most renowned head coaching jobs in Kern County, or bring NFL-level coaching to their sidelines thanks to a family name, teams like Tehachapi must be prepared to counteract that. It’s time to bring the private-school fundraising model to the public-school system. That’s where the Warrior Boosters and your help come in.
As I have mentioned before, this in no way should rest solely on the shoulders of parents, but in the past that has been the case. It’s time to rethink how we engage with our community and a winning athletics program at the high school, especially in a one-school town, which provides invaluable benefit to our community.
It’s the same case study I was a part of at Cal State Bakersfield. Once the basketball team started winning Division I championships and hit the national stage at the NCAA Tournament and NIT levels, the benefit was felt by the entire community, on and off campus. It’s time to take comparable steps here in Tehachapi.
Last year I dabbled, but make no mistake, this year I’m all in, ready to help organize, fundraise and ensure that our teams are something that students want to be a part of, and the community is proud of. This kind of pride isn’t limited to parents and family members, but extends to the entire community tribe of Warriors that I know still exists.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Money is the difference-maker in athletics. While that used to be reserved for college and professional teams, that concept, for better or worse, has made its presence known at the high school levels.
Let's chip in together. Let’s volunteer and do what is needed to help the Tehachapi Warriors Boosters re-energize that supporting power our Warriors need. Even if you can only donate time and effort, that too pays for itself in spades.
There are plenty of people you can contact to get involved, but to simplify things, my email is below. Feel free to reach out to me and I can get you in touch with the right person.
It’s going to be an exciting summer, and with the fall sports season right around the corner, the Warriors Boosters will be at work with your help making sure it is a successful one, a volunteered minute and donated dollar at a time.
Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. A THS graduate, he now resides in Tehachapi. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed are his own.