The Union County High School Booster Club held an appreciation dinner at Midway Barbecue on Thursday evening to thank those who contributed — directly and indirectly — toward supporting the program.
Club president Jerry Williams welcomed those in attendance.
“We can’t do anything unless you support us, and we want to thank you for making our organization successful,” Williams said.
Williams then recognized several people who are instrumental in the club’s efforts.
“Tommy and Debra Lane have been there religiously every Friday night,” he said. “Frank and Ann Alexander — they’re there every Friday night. I call them utility people. They’re a little bit like offensive linemen. They don’t get a lot of glory, but they’re down in the trenches doing everything that we need them to do.”
Others Williams thanked included John and Dawn Fallaw, Judy Bailey, Bird Lancaster, Gail Cobb and Mickey Wingo.
Williams pointed out that no one in the booster club organization receives any compensation as he introduced the club’s treasurer — Roger Bailey.
“Roger is getting a pay raise this year, but 10 percent of zero is still zero,” Williams said.
Bailey began by saying that the booster club was formed in 1959.
“Coach Taneyhill has been in three regimes, and I don’t guess he’s ever had a money coach, but he’s got one this time,” Bailey said. “There are two people we listen to — we will listen to a member of the booster club, or if you’re a corporate sponsor.”
Bailey said the club has raised $3,000 so far for the football team’s trip to Altoona, PA for a seven-on-seven tournament this summer. He also said the club is proud of all the teams within the Union County athletic organization. He pointed out that five region championships were won in the spring.
Region championships were won in tennis, track, softball, baseball and golf, with McKale Hardy winning a state championship in track, and Jordan Crumpton winning the upper state golf meet.
Bailey said the club currently has about $12,000 in its checking account.
“Last year we only turned $99,000,” Bailey said. “Our best year was 2002 — we turned $150,000.”
Bailey said most financial decisions are made by the athletic director because the AD knows what is needed. This led him to introduce Interim Athletic Director Will Hickson.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to be AD at Union County High School,” Hickson said. “Coach Taneyhill made a good point the other day. He said it means a lot to be athletic director at your school — the school you went to. I’m very excited about that, but mainly, this is for you.”
Coach Steve Taneyhill also spoke at Thursday’s dinner.
“I’m still getting to know everybody,” Taneyhill said. “This seems like a close knit community that supports their athletics. Even though I’m a football coach and my thing is football, I want all our sports to be successful.”
Taneyhill addressed the “bad rap” he has received regarding students in the weight room.
“I can’t help these other sports if they don’t come in the room,” he said. “I can’t show them how to lift and show them how to get strong if they don’t come in the room. I’m not going to go beg these other sports. Now, I’m going to tell my guys they have to come, so it’s easy to get them in there, but we need cooperation from all these other coaches to push their athletes to come in there so we can do better.”
Taneyhill also talked about UCHS football players’ performance in the spring.
“We had an okay spring,” he said. “I’m never satisfied, really, so you’re never going to hear me get up and say how good we are. It just isn’t going to happen. This summer’s going to be a test for us. We’re planning a lot of good competition.”
Taneyhill mentioned that the team will play in a tournament in Lexington during the second week in June.
“We get to play Spartanburg and see what they have, and that will be good because we open with them,” he said.
Taneyhill also discussed the tournament in Altoona, PA, saying that it would a bonding trip and a learning experience. He said the football players there will be big, but they do not have the speed that the Union players have.
“Our goal isn’t going to be to win the state championship — our goal is to be the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and have a home playoff game,” Taneyhill said. “At that point we can talk about we’re five wins away or four wins away. I don’t like playing playoff games on the road; I want to play a playoff game in front of our crowd.”
Williams closed the event by reminding those in attendance that all money raised through the booster club goes toward UCHS athletics and student athletes.
“Why do we do this?” he rhetorically asked. “It’s because we care. We care about our young people. We care about our school. We care about our athletic programs.”