Rock Hill baseball players, boosters prep for upcoming season

Peyton Jefferson,
The Prosper Press
Incoming Rock Hill High School freshman baseball players on July 16 take part in a camp hosted by the school at Frontier Park Frontier Park.

The Rock Hill High School Baseball Booster Club - a nonprofit volunteer organization composed of parents, coaches and other members of the community - was recently founded in preparation of the start of the inaugural baseball program at the high school that is scheduled to open in August.

According to the organization’s Facebook page, its mission is “to raise funds to enhance and expand the Rock Hill High School baseball program and support the athletes, their coaches and the administration in order to allow the Rock Hill High School teams to achieve their full potential.”

In doing this, the organization has begun a face-mask fundraiser featuring Rock Hill-inspired designs.

While the booster club is comprised of a variety of people, board members include Chuck Cox as president, Jason Knight as vice president, Pam Ellison as secretary, Lynn Hutson as treasurer, and baseball head coach Shaun Stanton.

“Coach Stanton reached out to all of us, knowing that we had incoming athletes ... to see if we would be willing to volunteer our time, come together as a group and work on this with and for him,” Knight said. “That is what we did. We had two board meetings. Then, we came together and had to start from the ground up, as a booster club does.”

The club’s primary function “is to support or ‘boost’ the different programs of a school,” Stanton said. “They do this by volunteering their time in many capacities. We host three tournaments during the season and they run the hospitality room, operate the scoreboard, etc. Another function of a booster club is fundraising.”

There are two main ways the booster club aims to fundraise: The first is through sponsorships, collaborating with local businesses. The second is through fundraisers, such as the organization’s current cornhole fundraiser, meant to prepare the community for the upcoming tailgate season.

In terms of the prior, and inspired by Prosper High School’s Baseball Booster Club, the Rock Hill Booster Club has created different tiers of sponsorship, all based on baseball terminology.

The tiers go from its highest being a grand slam, to home run, triple, double, and lastly, to a single. Overall, this ranges from $5,000 at the top tier to $500 at the bottom.

“We try not to let those tiers get in the way of what a sponsor wants to contribute,” Knight explained.

“We generally will take what we can get when it comes to organizations wanting to sponsor us. It really does come down to finding people that are willing to support the program, with their focus being back on the boys and the program itself,” he said. “It becomes less of, `How big of a banner do I get to put on your field for my business, or how large of an ad do I get in my program,’ to, ‘How can I help your team be successful,’ and those are the types of sponsors we're looking for.

“However, there is a component we owe back to them,” Knight continued. “It is a spot time on the radio or an opportunity to get their logo out there so that attending fans can potentially become their customers, if they were not already.”

The organization’s mask fundraiser falls into the second category of fundraising. However, there is a difference between its purpose and that of the more historically common fundraisers.

According to Knight, the idea for the fundraiser was driven less from a “profitability perspective, but from more of a community-support perspective.”

A number of face masks designs are available at bluehawksbaseball.com, including a solid black mask, a skull and bone design, a pink smiley face and others.

The fundraiser ends July 22. All masks ordered are anticipated to be delivered before the first day of school, which is scheduled for Aug. 12.

“I hope that we can just be as much help as we possibly can, to get mass safety to our students,” Knight said.

Rock Hill High School head baseball coach Shaun Stanton coaches rising-freshman baseball players July 16 during the school's incoming-freshman baseball camp at Frontier Park.