The chance to support Sandpoint’s youth football teams arrives, along with the chance to win big
By Taylor Shillam
Photo by Jason Duchow Photography
At the height of summer, many football players instead have their sights set on the upcoming fall, their season to shine. Through the years, it’s been clear that Sandpoint’s local high school and middle school football teams create an undeniably infectious energy that is closely felt by the entire community. This closeness is created through mutual respect and support.
“We have the most supportive community a coach could ask for,” Sandpoint High Football Coach Ryan Knowles shared, looking forward to leading his team into the upcoming season. Each fall, Sandpoint’s youth football teams rely on community support in its many forms, from game encouragement and attendance, to the critical preseason process of fundraising. That’s where the Sandpoint Football Foundation comes in.
The Sandpoint Football Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides fundraising support to football associations in the greater Sandpoint area. Through their efforts to gather financial support, the foundation provides essential opportunities for the kids and the football programs they participate in.
“Every year, it’s a chance for our team to get out and shake hands,” Knowles said of Sandpoint High School’s participation in the foundation’s fundraising efforts. “A lot of our community wants to connect with our youth. We get a chance to meet a lot of good people and give them a chance to win a big prize.”
This year’s biggest fundraiser is the Taylor and Sons Sandpoint Football Foundation Truck Raffle, promising a big prize indeed. Sponsored by local dealership Taylor and Sons Chevrolet, the grand prize is a 2021 Chevy Colorado, boasting features like a color touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming, a rear-vision camera, and more. With a cherry red tint coat and jet-black interior, the truck is valued at a total of $33,575, making it a very big win for one lucky raffle ticket holder this fall.
The foundation holds a raffle ticket fundraiser every year, designating half of the proceeds to benefit the players at an individual level. Individual costs include football program dues, camp costs, and gear, gloves and cleats. The remainder of the proceeds benefit the program as a whole, paying for team-issued gear like practice jerseys, girdles, shoulder pads and helmets, as well as travel gear, food items, and overhead costs.
The raffle ticket sales help ensure local players meet their financial obligations while staying outfitted in the safest gear. According to Sandpoint High School, players are provided equipment of the highest quality from a safety standpoint, and the player count is growing. This year, the high school alone expects over 130 players who will require protective gear and equipment.
Community members and football fans can purchase tickets online through the foundations’ website at SPBulldogs.com, or from the players directly. Every $5 donation will purchase a ticket to enter the grand prize drawing.
The winner of the brand-new Chevy Colorado will be drawn at halftime at Sandpoint High’s Homecoming Game on October 1. This year’s Homecoming Game will be played against Lake City at Barlow Stadium, with halftime estimated to take place near 8pm.
Opportunities to support the foundation’s efforts are endless, with no limit to the number of tickets sold or purchased by an individual. Ticket sales will run through October 1, ending just prior to the drawing at halftime.
Coach Knowles reflects nothing but pride for his players, their sport and their community. “We have the best stadium in the state, with War Memorial Field at Barlow Stadium on Jerry Kramer Way,” he stated. “This place is alive with history, tradition and excitement.”
After COVID-19 stalled the foundation’s fundraising efforts in 2020, the efforts of 2021 became especially critical. Even still, the teams remain hopeful in their efforts to regain financial momentum in the upcoming months.
“COVID slowed us down for a year, but we came roaring back this spring,” Knowles said. His team lost the opportunity to sell tickets at the annual classic car show Lost in the ‘50s, which was canceled in both 2020 and 2021, but plan to boost fundraising through the summer. They look forward to celebrating with a killer season.
“We have been working very hard this offseason, and I look forward to that paying off,” Knowles shared. “We have a balanced schedule of playing bigger and smaller schools, but all the teams we play have a reputation of being physically tough. I am excited to show how tough we are.”
Taylor and Sons Chevrolet is located on Highway 95 in North Ponderay. They are a renowned family owned dealership serving Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene.
All proceeds from the Taylor and Sons Sandpoint Football Foundation Truck Raffle will benefit the current and future players within the foundation. Community members can make a donation to the Sandpoint Bulldogs online at SPBulldogs.com, with the ability to donate an amount of their choosing and the option to choose a specific player to donate to.
Raffle tickets can also be purchased directly through the players at $5 each. All checks can be made payable to the Sandpoint Football Foundation, and every ticket gets the donor closer to a shiny new Chevy Colorado.
“It is a humbling and great honor to lead the Sandpoint Football Team this fall,” Knowles stated. That honor will be shared by the supportive community that stays dedicated to cheering them on.