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The business of Boosters

Farragut High School football boosters boost funds and team spirit at every FHS football game, with their “Battle Station” merchandise.

“It is our spirit store,” booster Patty Van Dyne said.

“We, like so many merchants across the country, are suffering. Wal-Mart has hurt our business a little bit, just like everyone else,” she added.

At the Battle Station, the boosters sell T-shirts, ball caps, sweatshirts, shorts and other souvenir and school spirit items.

“It’s a school spirit thing. The younger kids come in and they want the T-shirts big brother and big sister have been wearing.

“It’s [about] a big school pride, Farragut pride. And it’s not just the high school, you see the middle schoolers are anxious to be Farragut High School students and Farragut Admirals,” Van Dyne said.

“And the moms and dads buy this stuff too. I have every T-shirt they have,” she added with a laugh.

Van Dyne is mother of senior standout wide receiver and backup quarterback, Lee Van Dyne.

The Battle Station is open for every home football game, both varsity and junior varsity.

“It’s fun. You get back there and work and you kind of play shopkeeper,” Van Dyne said.

According to Van Dyne, the merchandise is carefully selected based on student preference.

“They want those classic T-shirts, you know, the ones big brother and big sister had. So we kind of tend to sell the same thing,” she said.

“That’s because students want it,” she added.

The football boosters provide financial support to the Farragut High School football team, which does not receive funds from Knox County.

“The [boosters] make sure they have money for everything they need. … It’s very expensive to run an effective football program, and you can’t do it without parental and community support. That’s what we do,” Van Dyne said.

“They do so by the wonderful support of the Farragut community,” she added.

Van Dyne said the merchandise program requires a few dozen volunteers, and six to eight every game.

“What makes the school so great is because the parents are there supporting the students, and … this incoming freshmen class, they’re wonderful,” Van Dyne said.

“They have enthusiasm and huge participation.

“It’s not hard to get people to participate,” she added.

Van Dyne estimated the Battle Station program raised more than $3,000 a year.

“We’re really providing a service,” Van Dyne said. “It’s not huge; we’re doing it just to provide stuff for the kids.”

Besides the merchandise program, the boosters hold other fundraising activities, including the sale of posters and banners that hang around the stadium.

This year, the boosters purchased a new weight room facility for the team; in past years they have purchased knee braces and other equipment.


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