Home improvement

Published 1:57 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

For members of the Straughn High School Quarterback Club, Friday’s school dismissal bell is often the start of a long day’s work.

The Quarterback Club, which has about 50 members strong, works each home game night at Straughn High School, helping in the concession stand and selling merchandise to raise money to help the school’s football program.

This summer, several members of the Club also helped work hard to make sure the Tigers have an attractive facility to play their home games.

Thanks to a $35,000 grant secured by House Speaker Seth Hammett (D-Andalusia) and state Sen. Jimmy Holley (R-Elba), the Tigers’ home stadium now features two brand-new iron gates, each prominently featuring the Straughn “S” logo and bordered on either side by a brick entranceway. A similar gate has also been installed at the entrance to the Straughn High School baseball and softball fields.

“Several parents worked in the afternoons after work to put up these gates,” said Mark Elmore, president-elect of the Quarterback Club. “I’d say it took about three weeks, from start to finish. It’s something that gives us a lot of pride in our school, and it’s a project we’ve wanted to do for several years and it’s nice to have it done now.”

The grant also helped finance upgrades to the men’s and women’s restrooms, including new fixtures and tile floors. The women’s restroom was expanded to accommodate more people, and the renovations are the first since the stadium was originally built in the early 1970s.

“We’re very proud of our new entrance and the other renovations,” Straughn High School coach Shannon Driver said. “The bathroom improvements help us accommodate larger crowds and make sure our fans have a good experience.”

Club president Alan Bracewell said many members of the club arrive at the stadium on game night as soon as school lets out for the day, and remain at the stadium until it’s cleaned up after the game is over.

“Pretty much every one in the club is willing to do whatever needs to be done for the team and school,” he said. “We’re responsible for making sure the boys get fed, whether they’re on the road or here at home. It’s all about being a part of the same Straughn family.”

The Club meets every Tuesday at the football stadium. For more information, call Robin Aughtman at 222-8086, or visit the Club’s new Web site at www.straughn-tigers.com.