The Athletic Booster Club at Mesquite Horn High School may not have the largest membership – president Andrell Reid says parents of athletes can join any time – but that hasn’t stopped the club from making sure each team’s needs get met.
“This is my first year as coach at the school, and they really step up,” said football coach/athletic director Chris Hudler. “Whenever there is a need, they do a great job of responding.”
Reid and her seven-person board make it their mission for each of Horn’s sports to have everything they need to succeed. Football may be the school’s largest program, but it’s far from the only one.
“Our main priority is all of the children,” Reid said. “No one sport is better than another. We just want to make sure that everyone’s needs are met.”
The booster club raises its money three different ways and then assesses each need that it’s presented with. The Homecoming Dance is by far the club’s largest fundraiser. The club also sells all of the school’s spirit wear – shirts and hoodies are the most popular sellers. And there’s also the popular "Jeans Day."
“Our principal gives us one day a year where the kids can wear jeans, which are not allowed in our dress code,” Reid said. “Students love that. They pay $3 and get to wear their jeans on a Friday.”
Reid said the money is spent two ways. The club sets aside $11,000 each year to fund 11 $1,000 scholarships to graduating senior athletes. The rest of the money, including club dues, forms the budget from which teams’ needs are met.
“All of the money goes back to the school,” she said.
Student-athletes can apply for the scholarships, but there’s just one catch, Reid said. Their families must be booster club members. Membership dues are $20 and help the club’s operating budget.
Hudler said the club has been very gracious – and balanced – in meeting the needs it is presented with. The football team has submitted several requests, including a new inflatable, and other sports have seen their largest needs met as well.
The booster club provided a new shooting machine for the basketball program and paid to have the doors to the gym wrapped in school colors. The club purchased a pitching machine for the baseball team, sideline jackets for the boys soccer team and most notably, a hydration machine that the training staff uses as it supports each team.
“The club really helps out with the training staff,” Hudler said. “The solar-powered water cow [hydration station] was a big need.”
Reid said a successful Homecoming Dance should help the club meet all of the new requests it gets before the next board meeting.
“We had a really good turnout at Homecoming,” she said. “Hopefully we will be able to assist everyone with what they need, if not fully then at least partially.”
Reid takes a great deal of pride in knowing that the club is making a difference for all of Horn’s athletes, not just those who play the most prominent sports. The club funded the school’s first powerlifting team last year, and the satisfaction she and the other members get from seeing each team succeed makes all of the fundraising and behind-the-scenes work worthwhile.
Each club member works shifts at different events, and football games become an all-hands-on-deck production. For Reid, that means working quickly to get things set up so she has time to catch her daughter and the Horn volleyball team.
“You just want to do everything so that every team has what it needs,” she said. “We just go to work, and if we have to sprint to games to watch our kids play, that’s what we do.”