Boosting–from a distance

Stoughton Sports Boosters doing their part to encourage student athletes during difficult times.

A “Ready” Ribbon tied to a lamppost used with permission from Steve Lyons

A “Ready” Ribbon tied to a lamppost used with permission from Steve Lyons

Caeli Harman, Staff Writer & Head Artist

The hope for a typical sports year has long passed as the school year makes its way into the heart of autumn. The postponement of sports has been disheartening for many students, coaches, and families as the joy of playing the game becomes nothing short of nostalgia.

Even though much of sports has been reduced to zoom meetings and careful conditionings, Stoughton Sports Boosters continues to encourage the athletic department with their generosity.

The Sports Boosters, by definition, is a nonprofit organization that helps the athletic department fund projects beyond the budget of SHS, like uniform rotations or equipment. During this time of uncertainty, their contributions to SHS have not faltered as they continue to uplift athletes.

One such project of encouragement is the “Ready” campaign, built to uplift the student athletes of SHS. All around town, 500 purple ribbons, and growing, are being tied to the trees, light posts, and mailboxes in the front yards of student athletes’ homes. All ribbons have the word “Ready” on the front, pasted in bold, assuring letters. Commenting on the campaign, Steve Lyons, president of Sports Boosters, sheds light on the goal of the project.

“We wanted to let them know we’re ready […] So when they can get back on the court, the field, the pool, whatever it is– we’re ready for them.” Lyons says.

With the challenges brought about by COVID, the sports boosters have taken it upon themselves to reach student athletes from the confines of quarantine. At any point during this season, if plans are pushed forward, back, or are dissolved completely, the Sports Boosters are ready to step up to fill the need, whatever that might be.

Student athlete Sofia Bormett, a senior swimmer this year, comments on what the ribbons mean to her during these atypical times.

“I feel the purple ribbons being hung on people’s trees, porches, and front lawns is really showing the community support for the athletes during this time. It really shows how much the Sports Boosters care about the athletes even if there’s not normal sports,” Bormett says.

This kind of support is what the Sports Boosters seek to bring to student athletes, their goal centered squarely on benefiting the students.

Steve Lyons shares, “There’s a lot of decisions that kids have to make, and sometimes they can go down a path that perhaps isn’t the best path to take. But we find that athletics is a great opportunity for kids to make good decisions, and then to learn some major life skills [in the process]. I mean, you have to learn how to win, you have to learn how to lose, you have to learn how to win gracefully, lose gracefully. You have to learn how to play as a team, you have to learn strategy — whether it’s an individual sport like tennis [or] a team sport like soccer — all of those are life lessons way beyond high school.”

Through his words clearly shines the ambitions and care the Sports Boosters have for the athletics at SHS. With the community’s continued support, this care can further on into the future, boosting student athletes into a better future– from a distance. 


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