Help is on the way for high school sports programs in Mobile and Baldwin counties, via a newly formed non-profit organization called the Mobile-Baldwin Athletic Partnership.
The group, charged with the aim of offering assistance via equipment and other needs of area public school athletic teams, took its first steps at a press conference Thursday at Reese’s Senior Bowl headquarters on Dauphin Street. At a press conference to announce the organization and its goals, footballs donated by the Senior Bowl were presented to some area football coaches, including Scott Rials of Baldwin County High School, John McKenzie of Vigor, Melvin Pete of Williamson and Kyle Stanford of Robertsdale.
Curran Foos, a member of the Mobile-Baldwin Athletic Partnership board of directors that also includes David Morris, Sylvester Croom, Sherman Williams, Sherri Bumpers and Michael Pierce, said the idea is based off a similar program in Birmingham sponsored by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, and was started in Mobile at the urging of Mobile Arts and Sports Association Chairman Angus Cooper, who is also chairman of the Senior Bowl.
“We thought we could do it here in Mobile and this was the time to do it,” Foos said.
Vigor’s McKenzie said he is appreciative of what the organization can mean to high school sports in the area.
“I think it’s going to be big because when we had the Alabama High School Coaches Association meeting last week a lot of principals in the Birmingham area were telling us about that program,” he said. “… We had no idea it was going to happen in Mobile. They have done a lot of big things in Birmingham so I’m real excited about some of the things they could do here. If they could just do half of the things they are doing in Birmingham, it’s going to be big.
“The principal at Parker mentioned how they upgraded their facilities for one (thing), their baseball and field turf for the football team. There were a lot of big projects. … We need it at Vigor. There are a lot of different things always going on at Vigor High School so I’m always looking to find avenues to enhance that, and I think this organization will do that. I’m glad they’re here.”
Foos added, “The fundraising has not started yet, but we’ll reach out to community partners in Mobile and Baldwin county and hopefully have some resources so we can have an annual giving, whether it’s equipment or supplies, whatever the need is.”
Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy said, “It’s a big deal because it’s one more way we can impact the community. … Really providing resources is a big deal, we’ve really never provided resources like this (before), and today was a great start with the footballs. That’s what it starts with, but the goal, and where Birmingham took its program, is with much bigger needs. We’re talking equipment, on-field equipment, big-ticket items. Three or four or five years down the road we’re excited about where this thing can go.”
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