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Published: Saturday, 8/2/2014

Perrysburg boosters praised

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

As practice began Friday for fall-sports athletes at Perrysburg High School, school officials praised the work of the school‘‍s behind-the-scenes boosters.

“In my 37 years here press boxes, restrooms, concession stands, fields wouldn’‍t have been here without the boosters,” said Athletic Director Ray Pohlman. “We wouldn’‍t have the facilities we have. The athletic boosters are a very important part of our program.”

Athletic boosters raise about $92,000 a year by operating concession stands, selling 50-50 raffle tickets, sponsoring the Northwest Ohio All Star Game, selling spirit wear and collecting membership dues.

Boosters met Wednesday at the board president‘‍s home to go over the annual budget, prepare volunteers for fall sports and getting concession stands prepared. 

David Matolyak, president of the booster club, said even hosting soccer games, a relatively low-maintenance event, can take several workers to man the concession stand for about four or five hours.

“For football games the board is there at 5 p.m. and don‘‍t leave before 10 p.m.,” he said. 

That doesn’‍t include mid-week work, which includes getting as much as 40 cases of pop, which has to be kept cold.

The board and volunteers work with Mr. Pohlman and the athletic department. 

This year Mr. Matolyak is planning on $87,000 in expenses. That budget includes a $20,000 payment for the new turf at Steinecker Stadium at the Perrysburg Junior High School. Another $30,000 is used for concessions. Smaller costs include a few thousand dollars for banquets, maintaining the record boards at the gym, plaques for Northern Lakes League championships, yard signs, and other miscellaneous expenses.

The boosters also talk to Mr. Pohlman, who has a wish list of needs. The list can include everything from batting cages to a football lineman blocking sled to a new set of golf bags. 

Next on the horizon for Perrysburg athletics is funding a new $2 million locker room to be built north of the football stadium. The booster club has pledged to $375,000 toward the project. Private fund-raising from other groups also is expected to contribute to the project. The new facility would have a large fieldhouse for the locker room and equipment storage. The facility also would have new concession stands. 

“A nice locker room could lead to more playoff football, soccer, and lacrosse games, which could pave the way to huge things,” Mr. Matolyak said. “That would be a dream.”

He said they would like to break ground sometime next year so the facility can be ready for fall 2016, depending on fund-raising and school board approval.

Right now they are focused on this fall and making sure the boosters are prepared.

“We are ready to rock and roll,” Mr. Matolyak said. “Having a great fall sets the tone for the rest of the year.”

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.


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