The next few weeks will be bittersweet for Geoff and Amy Binney.
As members of the football booster club that supports The Woodlands High School, the Binneys are watching their third son, Dylan, finish up his senior season with the Highlanders. When the season eventually ends, they know an important chapter of their lives will be closing.
“It’s bittersweet and it’s sad,” Geoff Binney said.
“I’m not quite to the sweet part of it,” Amy added quickly. “It’s still sad for me. It’s emotional.”
As their three sons have progressed through the football program at The Woodlands, the Binneys have spent much of their free time volunteering to serve the booster club. Along with the other hardworking families who serve on the board or on one of the many committees, they’ve worked tirelessly toward a common goal every year.
“It’s always about the players,” Amy said. “It is a group effort and I’m very proud that our club has created a fantastic environment for football in The Woodlands area.”
The club’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by football coach Jim Rapp.
“They do a phenomenal job supporting the program,” Rapp said. “They are always here, trying to make sure that everything is done to the highest level.”
Geoff works tirelessly to secure sponsors from the community.
“I really enjoy talking to the community leaders about donating to the program,” he said. “Some of them are alumni. Some have kids at the school. Others just want to support the program. That really benefits the players through our scholarship program.”
The booster club provides scholarships to each graduating Highlander player.
“If we have players who have to pay to go to college, then we want to help,” he said. “There’s an interview process that gives us a chance to really get to know each of these great kids. We really like helping with that as a club.”
Amy works with other booster club members to ensure that no one – players or coaches – has to worry about anything other than the Xs and Os that lead to success on game nights.
“We all have children on the team,” Amy said, “but we don’t do anything for just one player. I love it when the whole team comes into a completely decorated locker room and it surprises them.
“We are blessed that we get to serve, and to do it effectively you really have to see the big picture,” she said. “Our purpose is to serve everyone – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, community members -- who is totally involved in the program. We do anything that is going to make the whole operation run smoothly.”
The Binneys grew up around football. Geoff played through his college days at the U.S. Military Academy. Amy memorized all of the NFL teams by division when she was in gradeschool. They stood behind each of their sons as they progressed through youth football and eventually into the school program, supporting them the best way they knew how.
“This isn’t just any sort of volunteer activity for us,” Geoff said. “Football is near and dear to all of us. We wanted our kids to play because I believe there is no other sport that teaches life lessons the way that football does. If we can help make the program better so more kids have that opportunity, that’s what we want to do.”
After a decade – dating back to when their oldest son started playing school football, it will be tough for the Binneys to simply watch from the stands next season. Then again, maybe they won’t simply watch.
“I’ve been doing this for 10 years,” Amy said. “You put so much into it and you see everyone having so much fun. Maybe I will stay on as a volunteer so I can keep serving behind the scenes.”
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