There are those who live on the gridiron and support the Altus High School football program with every breath they take. Throughout the season and during the summer months, the 12th Man Club provides different avenues of support to the program and makes sure athletes have all they need to be prepared to compete each Friday night.
Now, thanks to the creation of the Altus Tip In Club, the AHS basketball programs will have the same support.
“When you get the chance to spend some time with our high school basketball players, you quickly learn that this is an amazing group of young men and women,” said club president Brian Bush. “They love the game of basketball and love being Bulldogs.”
The club was organized after some parents decided that having a group dedicated solely to the support of the AHS basketball programs was long overdue.
The club became an Oklahoma Nonprofit Corporation, was recognized as a 501(c)(3) in May, and was officially sanctioned by the Altus Board of Education at the July meeting.
Immediately, they began working with the coaches and Athletic Director Todd Ware to assess each teams’ needs and focus on providing for the most essential needs first.
Some of the club’s duties will be to host events and provide meals for the players, coaches and trainers, as well as complete other projects as they are needed.
Another goal is to raise funds to supplement what the athletic department is able to provide. There has already been talk of using the funds for uniforms, locker room renovation and more.
In addition to helping provide financially for the teams, the club members also want to help in many other ways.
One of the ways to help is to provide a fun and entertaining atmosphere at each home game. The club hopes to help pack the stands wall-to-wall with Altus Bulldog faithful, so that the home court advantage on Clester Harrington Court is very evident.
But perhaps the most important way the club can help the high school basketball programs is by increasing the number of opportunities available to them during the off season.
For many years now, opportunities have existed for the football, wrestling, and swimming programs to keep them active and practicing during the summer months. Each group has witnessed tremendous success because of these opportunities, but little has been done for the basketball programs.
The Tip In Club hopes to change all of that.
The club again worked closely this past summer with the coaches and athletic director on a program that would allow the players to develop their skills while keeping in compliance with Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rules.
Because of the club’s hard work, the sky is now the limit for Bulldog basketball.
The club has four other members in addition to Bush. Becky Baker serves as the vice president, Kim Pickett serves as treasurer, Staci Cope serves as secretary and Debra Webb serves as an at-large member of the board.
Soon, the board will be launching fundraising efforts to garner sponsorships and volunteers.
During an upcoming sponsorship drive, sponsors will be able to choose how much they would be willing to donate and the club will offer advertising and recognition in conjunction with the level of sponsorship.
“We are excited about doing everything we can to help build on the outstanding tradition of Altus High School basketball and supporting these players and coaches,” Bush said. “Every dollar we raise will go directly to the program and we pledge to be great stewards of the resources entrusted to us.”
For more information, visit the Tip In Club’s Facebook page.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.