Most of the hard work has already been done.
The sponsors are all lined up for next month’s 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Gridiron Association Golf Tournament at Crosswinds.
The prizes range from the sublime - two golfers will be drawn to compete for a one-shot chance at $250,000 - to the ridiculously cool (like the opportunity to bag a Harley-Davidson).
I’m impressed - and apparently I’m not the only one. So was the golf pro at Crosswinds.
"With the hole in one prizes, he told me the potential prize package was the largest he’d seen" said Gridiron Association President Ricky Bodaford, who noted this year's package is comparable. "
Now all the tournament needs is golfers to help the organization with its goal of raising funds to support the Richmond Hill High School football team.
Last year, the tournament drew approximately 100 golfers who raised more than $10,000. It helped buy a variety of equipment, from chin straps to shoulder pads to helping kids cover the cost of cleats. This year, the hard-working RHGA wants to sign up 144 golfers and wants to exceed last year's goal in order to buy the team new uniforms.
That’s not cheap. The jerseys alone will cost about $10,200 according to Wildcat coach Brian Brocato - who is entering his third season as coach and is beginning to see some fruits of Wildcat labor paying off, whether it’s improvements to the weight room, a new scoreboard or the refurbished field house.
In fact, when I stopped by the gym Monday to talk about the tournament, Brocato insisted I first take note of what happened when 13 of his players recently participated in a voluntary high school football combine.
Richmond Hill athletes tied for first in a number of categories, including bench press with 27 reps at 185 pounds; grabbed the top three spots in the vertical leap with jumps of 32 inches, 31 inches and 30 inches; took first and third in the pro shuttle with times of 4.06 and 4.4; finished second in the long shuttle and 40 yard dash - the latter with a time of 4.53.
Brocato, who declined to name names - not that unusual at this point in the offseason - said it’s a sign his program is continuing to move in the right direction.
Since Class AAAAA superpower Camden County, former Region 3-AAA South powers South Effingham and Benedictine, Class A stud Portal and Liberty County, which is usually loaded with athletes, were among the 13 programs at the event, I’d say Brocato has reason for what is frequently referred to as ‘guarded optimism.’
And that’s beside the point, anyway, since it’s so early in the season it’s not even early.
What is the point is the Wildcats annual golf tournament is May 17 at Crosswinds - and it will serve as the official end of the Wildcats’ two-week spring practice, which begins May 4. Many of the team’s players will be on hand at the tournament, as well.
"This is a good way for the golfers to get together to play a little golf, compete for prizes, help the community and meet the kids who’ll be out there representing them on Friday nights," Bodaford said.
I'd say it's a win-win situation for everyone concerned. And, much as I don't like golf, I may be convinced to sign up and embarrass myself - if anyone is looking to add a team member who shoots in the low-to-mid 100s. Shoot me an email if you're interested at email@example.com.
For more information about the tournament, call Bodaford at 663-5094 or Steve Wyatt at 228-0962.
Where the money goes:
Last year’s Golf tournament raised $10,098.12
Proceeds from last year’s tournament were combined with other fund raising events for the purchase of the following:
purchase misc player equipment, including jerseys for a total of $7,159.04
Improvements of field and facilities ($1,064.13)
Pre-game meals for the football players ($3,376.53)
Misc. supplies for team use ($469.54)
This is not a complete list of expenditures. However, the above items are representative of the bulk of last year’s expenditures.
Some of the highlights of this year’s budget include the following anticipated expenditures:
$10,750 for the purchase of new uniforms
$5,000 for misc player/team equipment
$5,000 toward the purchase/installation of a new scoreboard
The Gridiron is also responsible for providing pre-game meals for the players which totaled $3,376.53 last year. (see above)