By MURRAY BISHOFF
The Monett Kiwanis Club heard details about the sports program and football team at Monett High School and the Monett Booster Club during their last two weekly meetings.
Darrell Bradley, R-1 athletic director, said the athletics program has many goals, many of which are tailored for different grade levels.
"You always want to do your best," Bradley said. "You must keep in mind that only 50 percent of teams win."
A secondary goal is for athletes to become better citizens and to keep young people active. Bradley said he wants students to achieve a balance between athletics and academics, as well as realize one can be good in both the classroom and the field.
Bradley also wants both the athletes and their parents to understand the rules of whatever sport they are playing. He encourages athletes to set high goals, then quantify their achievement by targeting levels of achievement through the season.
Being athletic director has brought a lot of enjoyment, Bradley said. He said Monett is a good school district in which to work.
One of the ongoing efforts for the program is to have good equipment to keep students safe and to continually upgrade both the equipment and the facilities. Promoting good sportsmanship for both youth and parents is important. Bradley spoke of the need to keep the community involved. He would like to honor alumni by establishing a Hall of Fame.
Bradley said Monett has a very good Monett Booster Club that works with him on all sports. He appreciates how the boosters follow through to see that projects are accomplished.
Kevin Huffmaster, who introduced Bradley, spoke as president of the Booster Club. Huffmaster said the organization generates about $18,000 a year, half of which comes from memberships and half from concession sales. One of the biggest jobs is finding volunteers who will help prepare and sell concessions.
The Booster Club completed a three-year recruiting effort in 2011. Members pay $100 to support the club. In return, they receive a family pass for all home games and shopping discounts from local merchants worth about $75.
Corporate memberships of $500 are accompanied with a sign bearing the company logo for display throughout the year. For a $1,000 membership, a company name can be placed on water bottles sold at the concession stand.
During the past year, the club donated $15,000 to purchase new jerseys for the football team, $2,000 to support the baseball program and $900 for other sports. The club also hosts spring and fall sports banquets.
Within the past five years, the club built the new concessions building at Burl Fowler Stadium. Nearly $6,000 was spent on upgrading the public bathrooms at the field house, and another $2,500 was spent buying new wrestling mats.
The boosters also host a car wash, a golf tournament, a pancake breakfast and other events during the year, Huffmaster said. A team spirit bonfire for the Cubs will be held on Sept. 15. Depending on the weather, the boosters will either serve hot or cold beverages.
|Chad Depeť, head coach of the Monett High School Cubs football team, briefed the Monett Kiwanis Club about the football program.||Football practice officially started on Monday, Aug. 8 at 5:45 a.m. Depeť said the coaches and students gathered for a team meeting then started work at 6 a.m. They concluded at 9 a.m. then worked out from 4 to 5 p.m. in the weight room at the field house. An evening practice session followed.|
Around 70 high school students have come out this year. Depeť broke down the tally to 21 seniors, 17 juniors, 22 sophomores and 20 freshmen. In third through sixth grades, another 130 boys have come out for football this fall.
"We try to make football fun for kids," Depeť said. "Football is not all about winning and losing. It's about character."
Depeť emphasized how seniors are taught to take a leadership role, working with younger players on and off the field. All the players are encouraged to speak out if they see a fellow player taking a wrong approach. Depeť said players also need to recognize they serve as role models and are watched by schoolmates, parents and the community.
At this point in the season, Depeť and his staff are focusing on game fundamentals. He said the program teaches discipline.
"If you do things right, then the big things will take care of themselves," Depeť said.
Coaches stress being firm and fair. Depeť said the discipline players learn will help them throughout life.
The team can anticipate a rigorous season, Depeť said, playing in one of the toughest conferences in their class. In consecutive weeks the Cubs will face McDonald County at home, then play Logan-Rogersville and Nixa. Depeť said he planned to run the same offensive strategy as last year, with minor changes. He voiced concern about the strength of the front line and said some of the players will have to play both offense and defense.
Depeť said he has a couple of sophomores who may develop into strong players as the season progresses. He would like to keep the freshmen together as a unit and will work to get them playing time as the year progresses.
Players are encouraged to share their knowledge of the game. Depeť said he wants players to mingle with the Mighty Mites, encourage them to play and even attend some of their games.
Depeť said he loves his job. The effort requires a great deal of time, and he feels fortunate to have a supportive family.