Seeing a need and filling it didn’t get much easier than the summer of 2019 for the Copperas Cove Quarterback Club.
All it took for club president Jessica Jenkins to determine the club’s top priority for the new football season was a look inside the storage shed and a quick conversation with coach Jack Alvarez. The conversation with Alvarez simply confirmed that the program needed a facelift. In particular, the Dawgs’ run-through tunnel, needed to be replaced.
“That was something that was really needed for the boys,” Jenkins said. “It was really time to replace the ones we had. We need to have something the boys can be proud to run through.”
First impressions are important. Alvarez placed a priority on replacing the inflatable and run-through tunnel because he didn’t want the first thing people saw about the team before the game to be them emerging onto the field through an aging tunnel that needed to be patched together in places.
“Sometimes we have to prop it up with crutches at games,” Alvarez said. “The club has seen the need and we are really looking forward to having something new.
“The inflatable is such a great program-seller. Everyone gets that picture of the kids running out of the helmet. It’s become a statement about your program. There is a certain look that the successful programs have, and this is part of it.”
Cove has had its share of success, and the Quarterback Club wants to do its part to keep celebrating successes as they occur. In addition to purchasing a new run-through tunnel, the club will host the year-end banquet: a nice, catered dinner as a way to wrap up a season of hard work and, if things go well, lots of success to celebrate.
“They throw an awesome banquet for us,” Alvarez said.
To do that, Jenkins wants the club to do a little more fundraising during the year to augment what they bring in from running the concession stands at the stadium.
“I really wanted to do try two fundraisers in the community,” she said. “We are happy to have those events coming up.”
This weekend (Sept. 28), the club partners with the local Applebee’s for a pancake breakfast. In October, Bush’s Chicken will host a spirit night. At each event, mentioning the booster club will get the restaurant to donate a portion of that meal’s cost to the club – and the football program. Those events will help create interest in the football program – not to mention funds – that can help ensure that Friday nights are memorable for the Dawgs.
Alvarez knows a run-through tunnel might not be worth any points once the game kicks off, but he said adding to the pregame excitement is an important motivator for community and the players. He remembers back to his days as a basketball player, when his high school listed the number and last name of the starting five beside the scoreboard.
“I couldn’t wait to get my name up on that board,” he said. “Nowadays, players get excited about being able to run through that tunnel on a Friday night.”