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Comets alumni football game set

Former Halifax County High School football players looking to relive memories of their past endeavors on the gridiron will now have that opportunity.

For the first time, Halifax County High School will hold an alumni football game, with the game to be played Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium.

Halifax County High School Head Football Coach Mike Roark says 50 players will be needed in order to stage the game. Alumni Football USA is helping put on the game and will provide all equipment for players.

The cost is $100 per player, and players may sign up by registering online at www.alumnifootballusa.com or by calling 866 u get hit.

“The game is geared toward the 25-35-year-old guy who enjoys football,” Roark said.

“The equipment that will be provided will be good equipment, not 25-year-old stuff that has been handed down from somebody’s program. This company has good equipment. They keep it up to date, have it reconditioned when needed and make sure it is ingood shape.”

Roark said he’d like to have 30 to 35 players signed up by the second week of July so that preparations for the game can continue on schedule. Players on the two teams will practice for a week prior to playing the game.

The two competing teams will be formed on the basis of the players’ graduation year. Players who graduated from Halifax County High School in even-numbered years will comprise one team, with players that graduated from the school in odd-numbered years composing the other team.

Roark said the alumni football game is being staged as a fund-raiser for the Halifax County High School football program. Tickets for the game will be $10 each, and fans wishing to take advantage of VIP Parking can do so for $10.

Halifax County High School will receive a percentage of the gate receipts, Roark said. Fans will have an opportunity to purchase tickets in advance and fans are encouraged to purchase advance-sale tickets.

“The pre-game sales is where we at the high school will make our money,” Roark explained.

Roark said there will be no out-of-pocket expense for the high school, as Alumni Football USA will cover the cost of the facility, security and clean-up. The high school football program will receive money from the VIP Parking, a 50/50 drawing that will be held that night, all of the proceeds from sales at the concession stand and a percentage of the ticket sales. 

The Comets football coach said the goal is to raise $6,000 through the alumni game.

Roark said the alumni football game is one of three major fund-raising efforts the Halifax County High School football program is making this year. The first project is the sale of advertisements for the Halifax County High School football media guide that will be made available at the school’s five home varsity football games this season. As another project, coaches and players of all of the Comets football teams will be selling cards offering discounts at various area businesses. The alumni football game is the third component.

“Most people don’t realize how much money it takes to run a football program,” Roark pointed out.

“We need to raise $20,000 between these three fundraisers. In order to run this program the way it needs to be run.

“For instance,” Roark continued, “we make peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed the kids during the season and provide a pre-game meal. I have to budget $1,000 a week to feed the kids during the season. We go beyond that and feed them during the off-season as well. Some of these kids don’t get meals at home.”

In addition to making sure the players have something to eat, money is needed for football cleats, spirit packs the coaches put together for the players, miscellaneous gear and coaching equipment.

With the present economy and budget restrictions, more high school sports programs are working to raise money to keep the program afloat.

“If you want to have a successful football program, you have to fund it,” Roark said.

“The school and the school system are very supportive, but they can’t do it all. That’s just the way it is right now. You have a choice. You can whine about it, or you can get out there and work and try to do what you can to raise money and get items donated to the program. Every year, I’m trying to figure out new ways to make money for our program.”