IHS Gladiators Baseball Honors Local Businesses

Image: Baseball and business — 2009 IHS Gladiator Baseball team took a moment and honored local businesses for their support in their season.

Baseball and business — 2009 IHS Gladiator Baseball team took a moment and honored local businesses for their support in their season. (Anne Sutherland)

Italy Athletic Booster Club President, Becky Milligan, has been enthused about IHS Baseball for many years. After all, son, Josh who is a junior, has been playing Varsity since his 9th grade year. However, she has seen the need for financial support for the team by local residents and merchants for some time and last year implemented the sale of fence signs for the club.

Becky took on the project with the help of Head Coach Matt Coker. “He said it was a great way to partner with the community in raising funds for the baseball program,” Milligan said. "I took his idea and solicited help from the Waxahachie High School Baseball Booster Club president, Russell Phillips. He graciously spent many hours with me talking about the Waxahachie sign program and giving me guidance in setting up our program. I designed a contract and guidelines based upon the Waxahachie program. The school adopted the contract. Next, I met with Coach Coker, Coach Griffin (the current Athletic Director) and Mr. Herald and proposed that the baseball team split the net proceeds with the Athletic Booster Club scholarship fund, 75-25%, with the 25% being donated to the scholarship fund That way, we all agreed, the baseball team would be giving back to the school by helping all senior athletes.

I then solicited the help of Clover Stiles and between the two of us, sold 12-4′ × 8′ signs in the spring of 2008. The contracts are for a 3 year term, and the businesses can elect to pay all three years up front, or pay annually. The 25% proceeds donated to the scholarship fund is allocated over 3 years so that we have income for the scholarship fund going forward. The baseball team enjoyed tremendous support from area businesses last year, and this year we have sold 5 small signs, 4′ × 4′. The softball team as well sold one large sign last year and have sold another one this year. The sign program for the softball team is identical to the baseball advertising program. We are grateful to the community businesses who support our baseball and softball teams and honor those businesses each year at one of the home games," Becky explained.

With portions of the monies dedicated to scholarships, the signs went up with the monetary help of businesses and, Friday night, the Italy High School Gladiators honored four of the helpful businesses and hosted an exciting game.

David’s Supermarket
Varner’s Fina
Italy Neotribune
Monolithic Constructors, Inc.

A representative of each business threw out an opening pitch from the mound-or somewhere very close- to Gladiator catcher, Ryan Ashcraft. It was plain ol’ fun to watch the leaders of our community.

“Beginning with the 2008 baseball season, we have seen our attendance greatly increase over prior years,” said Milligan. “Clover Stiles has added greatly to the ‘fun’ with the addition of the music and trivia games she brings to each home game. We try have ‘theme’ nights at each home game as well with hot dog eating contests, food specials and student night. Last year, our high school Ag Department made a barbecue grill for us and now everyone enjoys grilled hot dogs and hamburgers at the concession stand. We also make sure we pay homage to our country before each game by singing the National Anthem. We have heard from many visiting teams that they like to come to our field the best because we seem to have so much fun, and they like the music!”

You are invited to our IHS Baseball and Softball games. Come on out and support our teams.