In small communities that love their high school sports, weather isn’t going to spoil a party.
Prior to the high school’s Area round playoff game, the Quanah Sports Club organized a community-wide pep rally to give the Indians a proper send-off. Weather forced an audible, moving the event from the city’s main square and into the Three Rivers Foundation ballroom, but the party went on.
“We did it as a tailgate style party,” Townly Thomas, the Quanah Sports Club president, said. “The weather didn’t cooperate, but we still had a great party. The cheerleaders and dance team performed. We had different speakers. We had a DJ. It was a lot of fun.”
Keeping the community involved has long been one of the club’s goals. Thomas said the club’s membership spans many generations, from families of current athletes to alumni to the high school’s future students. The elementary school students are just as eager to share their school spirit as the high school parents.
“There is a lot of pride in being a Quanah Indian,” Thomas said. “We have all ages who participate in club activities. Our elementary students are involved and making posters every week. They love being a part of this.”
The older membership focuses on helping raise funds that the club will use throughout the year. Thomas said the club works with each sport’s coach to find a way to fill in any gaps, be it providing money for teams to buy a pregame meal, bringing nutritious snacks to school for teams to have when needed or providing gear that the budget can’t cover.
Thomas said the club works alongside the cheerleaders and drill team to sell spirit wear. They saw a significant increase in fundraising when they took a different approach to the parking spaces adjacent to the stadium this fall. The club created another sponsorship level that included parking close to the stadium.
“Boosters bought the spots and we put their name on them, so it created a really unique, personal feel to our stadium this year,” Thomas said.
In addition to its support for each team, the club hosts an annual athletic banquet at the end of the year. Like the playoff pep rally, the event takes place in the Three Rivers Foundation ballroom and gives the community another chance to come together to celebrate the year’s athletic accomplishments.
“The banquet is the central focus of our fundraising efforts,” Thomas said. “We want that to be really, really memorable for all of our sports.”
She said the club works closely with a very supportive community to raise the money required to hold the event, and she’s proud that the community continues to support it. Fostering that support remains one of her primary objectives each year.
Thomas said beginning next year, the club hopes to bring back something everyone can be proud of. It’s been years, she said, since the school’s utilized its inflatable run-through tunnel before football games. The inflatable has become an integral part of football, an something that the team and community can identify with.
“I really don’t know the last time we used ours,” she said. “We are really, really wanting to bring it back and we’re in the process of trying to raise the funding for it. It won’t just be for football. You can see it at different events. It just adds that ‘wow’ factor to the athletic program. That’s our goal, to continue to connect the community and the school to build on that pride.”
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