I am glad that we are in the black, and I appreciate all the support of people throughout Warren County. My booster club has been very active and supportive during this COVID-19 season. We sold more season passes and tickets to games this year than we did last year. That is remarkable, but we have to understand that our game tickets sales have been underperforming this past year and definitely in the previous years. This year proved that for many years too many fans had found a way to sneak into the games without paying the small ticket price. The guidelines and restrictions of the COVID pandemic provided us a platform to hold people accountable for purchasing a ticket to enter the game. I wish we did not have to charge at all but it takes money to operate a 6A program and with anything competitive, it takes money to be competitive and stay competitive. In Warren County ticket prices are still unbelievably low as compared to the teams we are competing against. We agreed in our region to increase ticket prices, but we in Warren County held off because of the virus.
Since taking the job last season, I am learning what it takes financially to operate a 6A program. This past season COVID hit, and we have not spent money on things that we would have purchased under normal circumstances.
For example, we have not purchased one T-shirt or hoodie for any individual on the team. My objective has been to not spend money during these restrictive times.
Our gate was restricted to one-third of capacity. I made the decision to be as frugal as possible.
We are lucky that we benefit from a county athletic fund that our athletic director, Todd Willmore operates. That takes the burden off the football program to purchase helmets, to recondition them, and other essential equipment purchases.
I am in the process of developing a list of short-term and long-term needs for the program. My goal is to increase our athlete participation to the level of our 6A competition. We have 60 varsity players. Our 6A competition averages 100 players. We need more player participation to create more depth. With more depth we are able to be more competitive. We had many players playing both ways this past season. We must change that in the future. Swag, nice equipment, and updated facilities is one of the best recruiting tools for any coach to get new players out of the halls and on the field. Equipping players costs money. Developing the environment and putting them in uniforms cost money. Branding our program is essential to building a program.
We have several players from this year’s team who will be playing college football next year. Many of which will be receiving a full scholarship. Investing into our athletics and providing the best opportunity for our kids is the goal of every ticket that is purchased. I cannot wait until C.J. Taylor, the Holder brothers, Dirty Doug, Clay Thompson, and many others that have benefited from Warren County athletics, return to Warren County and repay the opportunities that were provided for them. I will be presenting a budget in the near future with items I believe the Pioneer football program needs. I will be presenting the budget and needs of this program to the public, and I will be asking for support.
Again, I want to thank everyone for supporting Squad 52. I believe Squad 53 will continue a winning tradition, and we need Warren County’s support to be successful.