Life behind scenes not easy for boosters
It takes more than two teams in brightly colored uniforms, a few coaches and some referees to play a high school football game.
It takes the contributions of the busloads of people who work behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.
Here’s a look at some of those folks who’ve volunteered their time to help the area’s two high school football programs pull it off all those Friday nights.
Tony Barros has been knee-deep in the western Nevada County football scene since he moved here from the Bay Area five years ago.
So it was no surprise when Barros, who has coached in the Junior Miners system since arriving here, was tapped to be president of the Nevada Union Booster Club two years ago.
“I don’t know how my name came up, but I got roped into it,” Barros laughed. “But Dave (Humphers) asked me to step up. I believe in what he stands for and the direction he wants take these young men, so I was more than willing to help.”
The club, which has helped lead the charge in the school’s quest to replace the sod in Hooper Stadium with high-tech artificial turf, is around to make life easier for both Miner coaches and players, according to Barros.
“Wherever NU football players are, someone from the booster club will be there. If they’re at a camp, we provide the water and food, whatever it takes to help them stay hydrated and compete at their peak performance,” Barros said.
“Anything our coaches or players need, they’ve pretty much got it at the snap of a finger,” he added.
The club also plays a big role in raising funds.
From game-day raffles, to the sale of both school apparel and season tickets, NU’s booster club is beating the bushes for new sources of income.
“At most high school programs, the money from the concession stands goes to the football program, but (not at NU),” said Barros, who oversees an annual budget of anywhere from $35,000-50,000. “And because we don’t have that, we’ve got to find alternate means to raise money.”
When it comes to fund raising, you can only sell so many poms-poms or t-shirts.
That’s where the area’s business owners enter into the picture.
“We run a hospitality suite for season ticket holders where we offer coffee and a full meal before each game. All of the (those items) are donated by community businesses,” Barros said. “Because of (things like that) we owe a lot to the local businesses. They have been very generous.”
Carreen Savoie inherited the reins of Bear River’s informal booster club when her husband Scott took over as the football program’s head coach in 2002.
Carreen, who had played a helpful role in some form or another with the team since moving to the area in 1994, is the driving force behind the production of the team’s game programs – both in the selection of photos, coaches’ bios and stats as well as the design and printing.
“When I started dating Scott in college, I didn’t even like football. But once we were married, I figured I’d better get out there with him,” she said. “If I can take a little stress off of Scott, (it’s worth it).
“Plus I’ve got three kids who all played the game, and they like it when mom is out there,” she added. “Now you couldn’t kick me off the field.”
Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
Especially by her husband.
“Not to say we don’t have help from a lot of great parents, but Carreen is my booster club,” he said. ‘Her year begins in May. She’s (constantly) running back and forth to the printer trying to get the program ready.”
“She’s an amazing, amazing woman,” he added.
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