By R. Alan Richardson
The gridiron dogs are moving closer to a fall football game on August 26th only a month away, and the booster club is in high gear helping them with what they do best. That is to raise money for the most expensive sport in town. Now days it costs about $200 just to buy a high tech helmet. The costs for suiting these boys up under Friday night lights are pretty costly to say the least. However, it is also the one sport that has more student-athletes involved and raises more money from ticket sales than any other.
Let’s look at the numbers. Around 80 football players are participating, cheerleaders number in the dozens, and the marching band probably is around 100 as well. It’s the lifeline, along with basketball, that also sponsors some of the so-called minor sports at MCHS.
The booster club held their annual golf tournament at Hard Labor Creek this past Friday. Tournament Director, Rusty Ewing, said, “We had 21 four-man teams participating and raised approximately $8000 dollars. It was a great turnout for the tournament. Chick Fil-A and the Georgia Farm Bureau were our lunch sponsors, and United Bank and United Bank Investment and Trust Advisors were our title sponsors. We also had a number of hole sponsors and many others who donated their time and money to make this one of the best we’ve ever had.”
The tournament has been held in memory of Bill Cochran for the past several years. Not only was he a former player for the football dogs, he served many years as the Touchdown Club President.
Their brochure for the tournament states, “Our goal is to enhance the football programs and the overall experience of all who are a part of the Bulldog Nation! Through financial support we are able to provide our players with the benefits needed to compete against other top programs as assigned by the GHSA. Please join us in building the best possible facilities, purchase the safest and best equipment, and provide our players with the “extras” to continue developing this fine program. We play each year in memory of Bill Cochran, Jr. He was a MCHS Bulldog as was his wife and their two children. His commitment to the Morgan County football program was undeniable! He wanted nothing but the best for our players. It is our hope that we can continue his effort and finish the drill for him.”
Head Coach Bill Malone talked about some of the particulars by saying, “We really appreciate the Touchdown Club doing this every year and everybody coming out to participate and raise money each year. Our kids get a chance to rub shoulders with some of the legends of Morgan County football like Alvin Richardson, Kenny Moore, Steve Cisson, and former players that played for us over 20 years ago. I hope it gives them some history of who came before them and paved the way for what they are experiencing today.”
Malone also talked about the summer activities they have been involved in with these remarks, “In early June Jefferson County came in for some 7-on-7 work with them and then we traveled to Kirby Smart’s camp at UGA where I thought we did pretty well. After that we traveled to Locust Grove for the Aero/Adidas camp. The next two weeks we concentrated on ourselves in the weight room and on the field just trying to get better. Last week we went to Georgia Southern’s FCA camp and faced the number five quarterback in the country, Jake Fromm from Houston County, who will probably sign with either Alabama or Georgia and played as well against him as any other team there.”
Next up for the Dogs will be an early morning practice on Monday and a regular practice schedule from 3-5 the rest of the week as pre-planning for teachers begins. August first the team goes into full pads with a pre-season scrimmage with Monticello away is scheduled on August 12th. The first home game will be against long-time rival Greene County at Bill Corry Stadium on August 26th . Malone said, “That game is slated to be the Georgia Farm Bureau rivalry game of the week so we’re real excited about that.”