MONROE, CT — Masuk High School’s new athletic director Craig Semple spoke to 140 players seated in golf carts for the shotgun start of the Masuk All Sports Booster Club’s annual tournament at Whitney Farms Golf Course Friday afternoon.
“Thank you for the great welcome that I’ve gotten here so far,” Semple said. “I would categorize this community as a championship community, because I see the support. I’ve run these tournaments before, so I really appreciate what the boosters have done … it’s a year-long process to get something like this off the ground and it’s gonna go a long way.”
“We really hope we can build off this momentum and we’ll ask for your support, because we’re trying to create the best four years for all our kids here at Masuk,” he added.
The Masuk All Sports Booster Club pays for all of the varsity letters, trophies and scholarships for the high school’s student athletes. It also funds awards for end-of-season and end-of-year banquets.
In addition to the awards and scholarships, the booster club purchases some big ticket items and equipment that the athletics budget does not cover.
“We are so lucky to have such a committed group that supports our student athletes,” said Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza, who played in the tournament Friday. “This golf tournament goes a long way to supplement funds to give our kids so many additional opportunities. It is great to see the community come out to support our athletic program.”
“The Masuk All Sports Booster Club unwaveringly supports Masuk athletics,” Principal Steve Swensen said. “The golf tournament is one of its most successful and well-attended events of the year. We appreciate so much all that they do to support our athletes and the programs.”
“As principal, the leadership along with the collective group are an invaluable asset and testament to the support the Monroe community has for its schools and athletic programming,” he added. “It also speaks to the pride we all have as Panthers! I cannot thank them enough for all that they do.”
Swensen expressed optimism for the future of Masuk sports.
“We are lucky to have such a seasoned professional as our new athletic director,” he said of Semple. “His success and leadership capabilities are impressive as shown by the run of success had by the Madison Public Schools during his tenure there. We are confident he can bring a similar refinement to our athletic programming to make the Panthers an even more formidable opponent for the other schools in the SWC and the state.”
A successful tournament
Stephanie Batch, vice president of the booster club, said Friday’s golf tournament had over $32,000 worth of sponsorships. “It was our best year in sponsorships,” she said.
Sarah Yeager, a booster club member, said, “the community truly came together. Every year we are amazed by the community’s support for our student athletes.”
The event included a silent auction with 10 donated items and over 50 raffle items. “Twenty Masuk teams donated,” Batch said. “It was our best showing among teams.”
Among the sponsors were seven families and various businesses. The Panther Sponsor was JMLS Consulting Services.
After past seasons filled with disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Batch said Masuk is looking forward to a return to normal sports seasons.
“We look forward to having full concessions for all sports,” she said of the booster club’s food sales at games.
Aside from donations, Batch said the Masuk All Sports Booster Club always needs new volunteers. Those interested in volunteering or in making a donation should email Batch or Kris Yeager, the booster club president, at [email protected] or visit the club’s website or Facebook page.