By Suzy Wiesenhart
The first South County Spartans Athletic Program, Inc. was started to encourage kids to participate in sports through scholarships so that fees or cost of equipment is not an issue.
Currently, wrestling and golf are offered, but future plans also include track, basketball, volleyball and flag football. An academic program is being built which will encourage student athletes to make the honor roll to receive a free bowling night at The Alley Southshore.
The ages for wrestling are 7-14 years old with a goal towards 25-50 participants. The coach is retired Military Greg White, who wrestled at the University of Northern Iowa. He teaches the basics to beginners and encourages experienced wrestlers to sharpen their skills. The fee is $8/week and is held at the Gardenville Recreation Center at 6215 Symmes Rd., Gibsonton on Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Todd Allen, Head Coach at Bell Shoals Baptist Academy, is the golf coach. Golf is held at Summerfield Crossings Golf Club at 13050 Summerfield Blvd. in Riverview on Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Beginners are welcome as well as seasoned players from 9-14 years old with a goal towards 20-25 participants.
Volunteer coaches, equipment, as well as facilities, are important to the success of the program. It has been able to secure some sets of golf clubs and some wrestling mats at garage sales, but more is needed. Zaxby’s in Gibsonton is sponsoring a Spirit Night a couple of times a month with 20% of sales going to the group.
The officers are President Christian Beiter with Preservation 1st Financial; Vice President Taylor Crumbly; Secretary/Treasurer, Michelle Mosher Rebhahn, owner of Southshore Insurance Professionals™; along with Board Members Cori Wortman, and Reginald and Shelita Jean Batiste.
The Athletic Program is about to become a 501(c)(3) in the next couple of weeks and has already given scholarships to some kids. The hope is that the fundraisers will help more kids. Beiter said, “Money shouldn’t be the reason a kid won’t be active in sports, and of course, those who can pay will help those who cannot.”
If you can help as a sponsor, volunteer, coach or have an interested athlete, please contact Beiter at 325-5626. Its website is under construction, www.Southcountyspartans.com, but you can visit on Facebook at South County Spartans Athletic Program.