As high school football programs go, The Woodlands College Park is a relative newcomer, playing its first season in 2006. With any new endeavor, building standing in the community takes time.
Thanks to the hard work of the school’s football booster club, the program has dramatically increased its presence – and connection – to the community. Lonnie Madison, the school’s football coach and athletic director, credits one family with leading the effort to create that connect: Joe and Amy Halsey.
“You just don’t see people commit to spending the amount of time that Joe and his family have been willing to give the program,” Madison said. “I know that a lot of parents are involved in our booster club, but I think they have gone above and beyond anything I’ve ever seen as a coach and an athletic director.”
The Halsey family got involved with the College Park booster club when their son Brooks reached high school three years ago. After a year of working on sponsorships and the program sold at football games, then-coach Richard Carson asked Joe to serve as booster club president. As parents do when coaches ask, Joe accepted. Carson retired weeks later, and the Halseys hit the ground running working with Madison.
“We love Coach Madison,” Halsey said. “He runs a really good program and it’s a pleasure to work with someone who is so appreciative of what people are doing for the program. He makes it very easy to get more involved.”
Getting people involved in the College Park program has become the Halseys’ main mission. As the program has begun winning – the Cavaliers have won 11 games combined in the last two seasons after winning just 12 games in the previous five – the club’s sponsorship sales have taken off as well.
“Winning games makes people want to be involved,” Halsey said. “When you have a winning program, you have that interest from the community. Before Coach Madison got here, we didn’t win many games so most of the community businesses sponsored The Woodlands High School. But as we’ve won games, we’ve seen sponsorships increase every year.”
For Halsey, the relationship with the club’s sponsors doesn’t stop with a mere “thank you” for buying a sponsorship. The College Park football booster club engages sponsors at different activities, building on the relationship.
“We like to invite them to take an active role in our school-related activities,” Halsey said. “We invite them to be judges at our homecoming parade. We promote them on all our social media platforms. We want to engage them in all kinds of activities around the football program.”
Madison said the Halseys’ involvement with College Park doesn’t stop with their support for the football program. The athletic director, who attends nearly every sporting event, said the Halseys are fixtures.
“You see them at everything,” Madison said. “They are at basketball games, baseball games, volleyball matches, wrestling matches…everywhere.”
“We just love College Park High School,” Halsey said. “We have developed a lot of friendships with parents whose children play other sports, and we just enjoy going to sporting events.”
There’s another reason the Halseys make it a point to attend as many events as possible. Football draws more spectator support than any other program, and those parents want everyone to know the support doesn’t go unnoticed.
“We try to support as many teams as we can,” Halsey said. “Yes, we do enjoy sports, but also because these other sports support football. I think it is important for families to support other groups. That’s what really builds school spirit.”
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