Boards raise funds, boost school sports

Somebody is redecorating the gymnasium at South Whidbey High School.

This year, championship banners will be a thing of the past as the South Whidbey Athletic Booster Club covers the walls of Erikson Gymnasium with the most complete collection ever of South Whidbey's sporting accomplishments. Under the auspices of a club fund-raiser, the boosters are detailing every single outstanding league, conference, district and state performance the Falcons have had since 1982 with series of plaques.

Called "championship recognition boards," the plaques are up for sponsorship this year. With well over 100 major achievements to document for 15 teams, the booster club is looking to not only preserve athletic history, but to go a long way toward raising the $10,000 the club seeks annually for benefiting high school teams.

Craig Williams, one of the club's two co-presidents, said last week that at $40 each, the boards are a good fund-raising tool and important to boosting spirit at the high school. The club has already invested $3,500 in large boards imprinted with the name of each sport. Sponsored championship boards, which measure about 16 inches in width, will hang beneath the larger boards.

But don't expect an immediate change in the decor in the gym. Williams said it could be a while before all the boards are hung.

"We're focusing on selling a sport at a time," he said.

In past years, booster club funds have paid for athletic equipment including a wrestling mat lamp, soccer nets, fitness ladders, team tents, baseball tarps, portable scoreboard, a Vertec jump reach meter, a printer stop watch and soil to raise the baseball fields above "swamp level." The club also pays for summer staffing in the school's weight room, college scholarships, summer camps, motivational speakers, state tournament travel and athlete recognition.

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