Saguaro Football Foundation plays vital role in team success

Saguaro High School football team. (Photo by Joe McInerney)

Saguaro High School football team. (Photo by Joe McInerney)

At Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, the Sabercat Football Foundation is one of the team’s biggest supporters.

Foundation president Ann Lyles has been involved with the Saguaro football program for several years. Her sons Kar`e, senior, and Kayden, junior, both play for the team.

“I started out going to meetings as a board member,” Ms. Lyles said. “Then we needed help doing the money books so I did a revamping as a treasurer.”

From there, Ms. Lyles was voted to take the position as president for the 2015 football season.

“I knew how the money end worked and my kids had been here for several years so I knew how each event worked,” Ms. Lyles said.

The Saguaro Football Foundation puts on many events throughout the year to raise funds for the football program.

“The booster club is kind of the heartbeat of our program,” Head Football Coach Jason Mohns said. “Without a strong booster club it’s hard to have a championship caliber football program.”

Their most successful event is the annual golf fundraiser they put on in the spring.

“The golf tournament is awesome,” Coach Mohns said. “It’s a great way for the coaches to meet parents and different people in the community as well as raise money.”

This past year, the event raised such a large amount the foundation decided to invest in a remodeling of the football locker room.

“As a board we wanted to give something back that will last year after year,” Ms. Lyles said.

The team and staff have been enjoying the new facility the foundation has provided.

“It’s nice having your own space,” junior lineman Corey Stephens said. “These new lockers help us keep it [the locker room] neat and it looks nice.”

Coach Mohns agrees the locker room is a large benefit to the program as a whole.

“It’s a way to make ourselves attractive and give these kids the best possible facilities for them to be successful too,” Coach Mohns said.

The foundation gives back to the team on a regular basis during the season as well.

“We provide scholarships for those who can’t pay for their [summer] camp, organize all the fundraisers, provide meals for the players before games, run concessions and sell merchandise,” Ms. Lyles said. “All the money we collect goes back to the boys and the program.”

Before the season starts, the foundation puts on a “lift-a-thon” where each player makes a money pledge per pound and each pound they lift helps to fundraise for the foundation.

“It’s a fun way to get the boys involved in the fundraising,” Ms. Lyles said.

Gold card coupon sales are another way the foundation works to get the players involved in fundraising efforts.

The card has different coupon offers on it and is reusable for an unlimited amount of times.

“The cards had the schedule on them too,” Mr. Stephens said. “A lot of my family wanted to buy them so they knew when to come out for my games.”

Despite all the work and responsibility that comes with being foundation president, Ms. Lyles says it’s all worth it when you remember who it’s for.

“Those days where you are like ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore’ you remember, it’s for the kids,” Ms. Lyles said.

Editor's Note: Ms. Stesiak is a student journalist at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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