Skip to main content

Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Rabun County Athletic Booster Club Chosen as The 2016 Rhapsody Recipient

Apr 12, 2016 06:18PM ● By Ryan Frisch

The Rhapsody in Rabun board has selected the Rabun County Athletic Booster Club as the 2016 recipient of its Annual Fundraising Gala to be held on the evening of Monday, September 12, 2016, at the Civic Center in Clayton.  This year’s proceeds will support the RCHS and RCMS sports teams by allowing the Booster Club to provide uniform and safety equipment updates, purchase championship banners, cover team travel expenses, and recognize athletes at the end of each sports season.

The Rabun County athletic program offers opportunities for students to participate in a variety of sports programs.  Study after study has shown that children who play sports are more physically fit throughout life; are more likely than non-athletes to attend college; have good self-esteem; and learn valuable life skills such as leadership, goal-setting and teamwork.  The Booster Club supports the diverse athletic program offering opportunities for middle and high school students to compete in football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling, track, cross country, tennis, and golf.  The schools currently have over 400 athletes on 30 teams in 11 sports!

The Rabun County Wildcats have earned numerous Region Championships at the high school level - with 8 achieved last year alone - and brought home championship titles in football and basketball from the middle school teams.  The 2015 RCHS football team celebrated a record-breaking season, finishing the season in the Elite 8 of the Class AA state playoffs and ranked number 6 in the state for Class AA - the program’s highest finish since 1998.  The girl's and boy’s basketball teams are currently competing in state championship playoffs.

In 2016-2017, the Wildcats will be competing in Region 8AA, but will be facing an almost entirely new set of opponents.  The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) reclassification of schools has the teams facing new contenders in Banks County, Putnam County, Monticello, and Elbert County.  Union County, Riverside Military and Greene County have left the region. The revamp of the region is expected to have significant impact on gate receipts due to the 2-3 hour traveling distances for over half of the opposing teams.  The gate receipts cover officials, referees, gate keepers, security and clean-up for all sports, and, also, sports equipment updates as the budget allows. 

Funds raised by the Rhapsody event will update all sports teams with new uniforms, replacing old, damaged uniforms and allowing the athletes on the teams be identically outfitted.  Another priority is to purchase new equipment for games and practices, with safety being the top concern.  Did you know that it costs roughly $1,000 to outfit a single football player from head to toe?  The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) requires safety equipment and gear reconditioning each year - the bill for football helmet reconditioning alone can run over $5,000 in a single year.  The Rhapsody funding will also allow for recognition of the athletes by purchasing championship banners that will be displayed in the gym and on the fields, providing the athletes team achievement patches for letterman jackets and acknowledging graduating High School Seniors with appreciation plaques.   

55% of the Rabun County High School student population and 65% of the Middle School population participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program and often do not have the means to purchase food at away events.  Many of these athletes may not have eaten since lunch, and long distance away games and associated travel often stretch into the evening hours. With these figures in mind, the Booster Club provides meals for student athletes as they travel to away games. The Rhapsody funding will help ensure these athletes have warm meals, giving them the energy they need as they compete and represent Rabun County.

The extraordinary Wildcat spirit seen in the community is evident at the many sporting events.  We need the help of all members of our community in support of our athletic teams.  Many of us are blessed with the means to make a difference in the lives of our student athletes - our future leaders!  Tickets will be available soon for the night of dining, dancing and fantastic auctions.  Sponsorships are also open for benefactors to purchase at various support levels.  Please join us in making a difference in the lives of our children!

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Georgia Mountain Laurel's free newsletter to catch every headline