Valley High Schools Competing on a Budget

September 4, 2009 6:44:46 PM PDT
High schools across the Valley are flipping the switch on the stadium lights to kick off the prep football season. But in this tough economy, many Valley schools are competing on a shoe-string budget.                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Friday's game against Clovis North starts in a couple of hours. And while fans and players gear up for another football season, schools are trying to stay competitive ... all while watching how their money is being spent.

Prep school football has officially kicked off in the Central Valley. And while fans may not notice anything different this year, athletic departments throughout the area are keeping a closer eye on where and how they spend their money.

Mike Palomino is a member of Clovis High School's Football Booster Club. His son plays on the team. The school is relying on the Booster Club to bring in more money this year. And with fewer donors, that means cancelling events like their annual golf tournament. Instead, they're focusing on cheaper fundraising alternatives.

At Sanger High School, the athletic department has a slightly smaller budget this year. That means limiting the purchase of new equipment, no more out-of-town trips, and using vans instead of busses when they can.

Despite some economic losses, neither school has eliminated any sports programs ... saying it's a crucial part of their students' education.

I asked both schools if they're taking more money from other programs to put towards football ... they say no ... all teams are treated equally. As for ticket prices for Friday's game ... adults are $6.00 and students are $4.00.

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