By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
Mist was rising off the greens at the Sequoyah National Golf Club when over 80 participants took to the course to raise funds for Cherokee football players on the morning of Friday, July 23. The annual Braves Kickoff Classic, organized by the Cherokee Central Schools Community Affairs Office, brought together many community members and sponsors and raised over $9,000 for the Cherokee High School varsity and junior varsity football programs.
“We’re finally able to get out here after COVID and not have to worry,” said Chase Sneed, Cherokee Central Schools Community Affairs office. “We didn’t get to have it last year. We’ve been doing it about six years.”
He added, “We’re lucky enough to come from a community that will donate prizes and donate gifts. Everything that we have today is donated. The only thing that we pay for is tee times for the golf course.”
Each player paid $120 with four-person teams, and businesses or organizations could sponsor a hole for $500/each. “It all goes to the football program for new pads, helps us re-condition our helmets every year, helps us maintain the field itself, and all of our workout equipment – new footballs this year,” said Sneed.
He is very thankful for the support. “We just want to thank everyone for coming out. Again, we’re lucky enough to have a community that supports our football program, supports our athletics, supports our school in every aspect. I would just like to thank everyone that is a part of it – coaching staff, players, community, Sequoyah National; it’s just come together, and we thank everyone for giving the support that we have.”
Sean Ross, Cherokee Central Schools athletic director, is also very thankful for the support. “I think it brings us all together and gives us an event to have everybody having some sort of level of facetime with one another. It gives us the opportunity to talk about the kids individually and their progress, and it keeps the community in the know as to the day-to-day operations of the team.”
He added, “It also allows the kids to understand that there is a community out there that supports them. I think everyone understand what this tournament is about and what it goes to and that’s why we get such a good turnout.”
Although a fundraiser, it was still a tournament and scores were taken so there was a winning team. The foursome of Shannon Ross, Jason Boston, Tyler Shuler, and Ethan Ledford took first place. Another notable on the day is that Eden Brown scored her first hole-in-one during the tournament.
The support shown to the football program, through the fundraiser, was immense, and it was nice seeing everyone out there on Friday morning having fun – but, more importantly, having fun for a great cause.
The late Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” He must have been talking about the Cherokee community who came through once again with its giving spirit.