Getting a boost helps Tranquillity HS varsity football
By DANIEL CASAREZ
Vida en el Valle/McClatchy News
(Published Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 06:44PM)
TRANQUILLITY José Gamboa knows it takes numerous elements to keep the Tigers' varsity and junior varsity football teams afloat.
During the Tranquillity home football games, Gamboa, who is also the president of the Tranquillity Quarterback Booster Club, is normally perched just outside the announcer's booth.
Gamboa helps the Tigers through his bird's-eye view of the plays. He assists the sideline coaches with dialogue that he transmits through a headset to the coaches on the field.
But this football season, Gamboa's role on the Tigers' squad has increased. With help from head coach Juan Sandoval, Gamboa has been instrumental with the fundraising effort after seeing the lack of needed equipment.
"The bags, they're probably the same bags that we used when we were playing here," said Gamboa, a Tranquillity High 2000 graduate and former Tigers' varsity lineman.
Gamboa's argument for equipment was evident the first weekend of play on Aug. 24 against visiting Kingsburg. Several varsity players used equipment that was just handled by the junior varsity team in the first game.
"Kids came out without their full uniform because they had to borrow stuff from the JVs. They (junior varsity squad) had to hurry up, and take off their gear and give it to varsity players. But, we don't have to do that ever again," said Gamboa.
Since then, Sandoval has placed an order for 20 shoulder pads and helmets.
"Our A.D. (Athletic Director) Rafael Torres has really helped us," said Sandoval, "He's really been good with identifying what we need, and coming through for us."
The actual amount that is given to Tranquillity High's football program by the Golden Plains Unified School District was undetermined at press time. But whatever that amount does not cover, Gamboa and the booster club want to assume.
"The bags that we had were all ruined; they had like foam hanging out of them. It was nothing good at all," added Gamboa.
"But this year, we're finally starting to get all the equipment we need. The kids are starting to look really good, and wanting to come out and have fun. We were able to get new headsets. The headsets that we had were no good; the batteries were dieing. And that doesn't do us any good as coaches."
The booster club, which was created in January, is open to any parent or supporter of the Tigers' football team.
Gamboa also operates the Pop Warner football program. He has helped Sandoval as a coach for nearly two decades, and spearheaded the booster's golf tournament, which was held in April.
The golf tourney is the football team's biggest money-maker and is held at Javier's Fresno West Golf Course. A second fundraiser this year was a fireworks stand in July.
According to Sandoval, much of the equipment has been updated like the sled used to train the players to tackle. Additional equipment like chin straps and other protective parts can now be purchased.
He wants readers to understand that the funds raised from ticket sales do not go directly to the football program.
"The money that football makes is shared; it pays for all the other sports. A lot of people do not know that."