A group of Texas City High School parents hope that by reconnecting the football program with the community, they can also reconnect the team with past successes.
Last year, a group of Texas City parents, including Tanesha Moore-East, joined forces and brought back the Texas City Quarterback Club, a booster club that supports the district’s football players beginning in seventh grade. The club had all but disappeared in recent years.
“Participation really fell off during a transition period at the school,” Moore-East said. “Last year, my son was in seventh grade and, along with some other parents, we decided that we needed to bring it back.”
Moore-East recalled the atmosphere around the Stingaree football program during her time as a Texas City student. The community packed the stands, and games became THE place to be on Friday nights in the late summer and fall.
“I went to Texas City too and I remember how it was,” she said. “I wanted to get more parents involved and get the boys [in the football program] what they need.”
Moore-East serves as the vice president; Buster Cantrell is the president. They lead a nine-person board and a motivated group of approximately 25 other parents who have made it their mission to reconnect the community with the football program, raising the program’s spirits in the process.
Their initial efforts have been very well-received. Volunteers visited businesses throughout Texas City during the summer and into the season and discovered that community spirit hadn’t died. It just had been untapped.
“We were able to secure a number of sponsorships for the season,” she said. “A lot of the feedback we got told us that the community had been waiting for the club to come back. They wanted to help the program out, but they didn’t know how since no one had been by to request anything from them.”
Community sponsorships provided the bulk for the club’s fundraising that focused on two big initiatives: an ice tub large enough to hold up to 10 players at a time, and the season-ending banquet.
While it didn’t prove to be a lucrative fundraiser, the club also pulled off its first annual Sting Day community pep rally and cook-off in downtown Texas City.
“That was a huge event for us,” Moore-East said. “We had 12 teams competing in the cookoff. The city closed off part of Sixth Street and we had things spread out over four blocks. We had a dunking booth where the kids could pay to dunk their coaches. The city sponsored us by providing a DJ. It was a very nice event with the band, the cheerleaders, everything.”
Plans are already in the works for next year’s Sting Day. Moore-East said the Quarterback Club hopes to hold the event in August, before the season starts, to give the community a chance to meet the team.
“It is very important to get the community together behind the team,” she said. “Once we can get the community 100 percent behind the team and in the stands, everything will take off from there and the boys will get that spark.”
In the early days of its reincarnation, the Quarterback Club has created a timeline that allows it to support players from start to finish. After Sting Day, the club dedicates itself to meeting big needs – the ice tub topped this year’s list; a new run-through tunnel is high on next year’s priority list – including decorating locker rooms on game day, providing snacks for players and coaches, and more.
Things wrap up with the banquet in January, where coaches honor the graduating seniors, celebrate on- and off-field successes, and set the tone for the next season, where moving forward they know they’ll have plenty of support, especially from Moore-East.
“My son is in eighth grade, so they know they have me around for a while yet,” Moore-East said. After the club’s big first step in 2019, she’s eager to build on the progress moving forward.
“Bridging that gap between the community and the athletic program is a big plus,” she said. “My hope is we can work together to build this program back to where we were.”
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