By Bill Tamburrino
Just being able to coach a sport is not the only requisite that high school coaches have to have, especially head coaches.
Along with organizing practices, teaching fundamentals, forming game plans, scouting, dealing with the press and public relations, coaches must be fundraisers.
No budget covers uniform, equipment, field maintenance, transportation and stipends for assistant coaches. Billy Beane is not the only person involved in Money Ball. Fundraising is a fact of life.
Who hasn’t bought candy, tacos, pizza, cookies, discount books, script, light bulbs, greeting cards, you name it from a student/athlete?
Track coach Sheri Edwards is back for her second tour of duty at Ramona High School. Edwards coached the Bulldog track and field teams from 1990 to 1996. Last year she returned to the helm.
Track is a very expensive sport and is different than most sports as far as equipment needs. Pole vault has poles, standards, and pits that are expensive. The same is true for the high jump (except for the poles). Add hurdles to the budget. Shots, discusses, tapes, watches, computerized scoring, and timing equipment all are necessary and all cost money.
Edwards had a jog-a-thon last year and that brought in some money.
“I wanted to do something that not only helped the athletes like the jog-a-thon, but could help benefit our community and campus. I joined up with Jim Plum (FUSION adviser and counselor) for his annual trash-a-thon.
“We have 67 boys and 40 girls out for track. I would like more girls. Put that in the paper. And almost all of them showed up at Ramona High School (on Saturday, Feb. 21) for our fundraiser,” said Edwards.
A trash-a-thon is not usually called a FUNdraiser. But Coach Edwards said that it helped to build esprit de corps.
“We grouped athletes with team members that they usually don’t practice with or hang around with. Sprinters with distance runners and throwers with jumpers. Besides performing a community service, we did some team building. The athletes took pride in what they were doing. Many said that they would like to do it again.
“The kids were surprised by how much trash was on our campus. We filled up an entire disposal bin (donated by Ramona Disposal). We went from the Ag department, parking lots, campus and the Dawg Pound,” Edwards said.
The boys soccer fans benefited from the trash-a-thon. The Dawg Pound was as clean as it has ever been for the CIF Playoff game.
Plum and his FUSION group have been doing a trash-a-thon for several years now.
“We are looking for problems so that we can solve them. Our latest project is the entrance to the school,” he said.
Plum is talking about a true multi-faceted project. Jason Mandich, a junior at Ramona High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 647, is doing his Eagle Scout project. He is making a map of RHS so that visitors can know where to go when they enter the school for a game, meet, meeting, or event.
“Where Jason is putting the map was an eyesore. So, FUSION teamed up with Jason and the district and we have made a beautiful planter that can double as a bench in the front of the school instead of a bare spot of dirt,” explained Plum.
What started as a way to make money for the track teams has become a joint source of community pride and new entrance to Ramona High School. I guess it really was a FUNdraiser.