A gift of nearly $11,000 to Pratt High School will allow for some upgrades in the athletic department — first class equipment for a first class facility.


A gift of nearly $11,000 to Pratt High School will allow for some upgrades in the athletic department — first class equipment for a first class facility.

The gymnasium wall mats purchased as a part of the new building construction were kind of plain, according to Brad Blankenship, president of the Greenback Booster Club. They will be moved to the new wrestling room, which eventually will need enough mats to completely cover the walls, and be replaced in the gym by a snazzier style, to be unveiled at the first volleyball tournament in September.

The other major purchase is new weight machines and weight plates. The weight equipment currently being used was custom made to fit around low ceilings and overhead heating pipes, Curtis Nightingale, PHS activities director, said.

“Now we have this nice spacious facility and this squatty stuff wouldn’t look right,” Nightingale said. “It’s old and outdated.”

The weight room should be ready for use some time in September, he said, and the new equipment has been ordered but not yet received.

The Booster Club has been funding only small requests from coaches for the last few years and saving for larger purchases associated with the new high school, Blankenship said. The club meets monthly, and at most meetings coaches present requests — such as football tackling dummies at $800 each, softball or baseball bats at $350 a piece, or $50 camp fees for 21 cheerleaders.

A six-level membership plan is the primary source of income for the club. For a $25 membership, a family eats free at the fall hamburger feed, scheduled for tonight at the soap scrimmage at Zerger Field, and gets two tickets to a hog roast later in the year. At the top end, a $500 membership comes with a plaque, family meals at the hamburger feed, eight hog roast tickets, eight tickets to the all-sports banquet in the spring, eight season passes to all Greenback sports events (except post-season) and a web page sponsor ad.

“One hundred percent of the money that comes into the Booster Club goes back into PHS athletics,” Blankenship said. “That’s the way it’s always been.”

The Boosters have sponsored the girls’ basketball Tournament of Champions for 35 years. For the first time in January 2009 the tournament will be held on the Greenback home court.