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THS Warrior Boosters need you

Xs and Arrows

Normally this time of year I would be happily writing about the upcoming Tehachapi Warriors football game or sharing a story regarding the latest from our volleyball squad; you know, something typical in September in the world of prep sports.

But we all know this is 2020 and COVID-19 changed all of that. As announced in July the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the governing body for high school athletics in the state, changed the seasons of sport in response to our current pandemic. So, while we would normally be in the throes of the fall sports season, instead we have our sights set on December and January as potential start dates for high school athletics.

That scenario creates a unique challenge for the Tehachapi Warrior Booster Club, a local nonprofit in which I have proudly served in the last few years. As a former THS student-athlete, I understood how vital the Boosters were to my success, always coming through when one of my teams needed something. So, upon returning to Tehachapi, I realized I needed to return the favor and have taken an active role within that organization by attracting business investments.

Last year we created this new level of membership for business sponsors and we were able to secure over $20,000 from our local businesses. This also included the ability to fully fund our scholarship program for our outbound senior student-athletes. The Boosters facilitated a variety of purchases on our team's behalf. This included things like uniforms, facility maintenance, tournament entry fees and championship patches for letterman jackets. These are just a few of the things this organization helps with.

The challenge in 2020 is the timing. While we would normally be into the season, we delayed much of that fundraising to see where the CIF was taking our schedule. Now that we know, I have personally been hitting the pavement to drum up that support we had a year ago, because more than ever we will need it. There has been a severe limitation on athletic funding from the Tehachapi Unified School District with much of it earmarked for transportation, a substantial cost for our teams. Throw in the COVID-19 costs that have hampered the high school and the inability for our teams to fundraise this past summer due to event cancellations and we have a potential crisis on our hands.

Luckily, some of last year's generosity is available to fill some gaps because there will be expenses for our teams even though their schedules have been altered. This year more than ever the role of the Warrior Boosters will be highlighted. As normal costs along with shortfalls are addressed, our role will be amplified, however we need the community's help. Despite the restrictions placed on many small businesses I have been taken aback by the amount of renewal support already committed. Businesses that saw the value in investing in our kids last year are coming back to the table and sponsoring again. If you are a small business owner that would like to learn more about becoming a sponsor, you can email me at [email protected] or visit THSBoosters.com for more information.

Individual memberships are also available with some alterations being made given the presence of current or future restrictions. We continue to build on the momentum a group of dedicated volunteers has for this organization and it continues to improve each year. It is my hope that when our Warriors take the field in a variety of sports this coming year, we will have met and exceeded their needs and provide the best experience possible as they compete for our community.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. He can be reached at [email protected]. Read more content at http://www.CostelloeMedia.com.