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Unsung Heroes: Team parents help players, coaches

Any parent of a Pioneer student-athlete knows it takes a village to feed a team. No matter the sport, there is a group of parents behind the scenes making sure the team has what it needs to succeed during the season. Their volunteerism goes beyond what the coaching staff provides and organizes things from team meals and carpools (for small teams) to spirit wear  and more. This article focuses on the parents who support the Boys Basketball team.

This group of parents organized fundraising, including selling the advertising signs that hang in the gym and spirit wear T-shirts at the start of the season and after winning the sectional championship as well as selling 50/50 tickets during all home games — with each parent taking a turn selling. The parents also planned and coordinated team meals on game days so the boys could have a healthy meal without having to leave campus. Each parent took a turn bringing in the food. The junior players’ parents coordinated the senior night activities.

Typically for our sports teams, one or two parents coordinate the parent group activities, and several parents take charge of organizing various elements, whether sign ups for selling raffle tickets or bringing in meals for the team. The Boys Basketball team parents did the same.

They volunteer their time, donate food, and buy advertising and raffle tickets because they are committed to Providence and their student’s team’s success, the parents said. One of those parents is Mrs. Traci Hutchins, wife of Assistant Principal/Director of Students Scott Hutchins ‘91 and mother of senior player Bryce Hutchins and freshman Logan Hutchins. She said the parents give because it’s part of being a Providence parent.

“It’s just what we do, right?” Mrs. Hutchins said. “We know how busy the coaches are, and we know they need funds to cover buses, uniforms, etc. We support our kids, and we support Providence. Sometimes that’s financial; sometimes it’s time; usually it’s fun … especially when it’s cheering on the team during a win over New Albany or a sectional championship!”

Ultimately, the parents give their time, energy, and support because they want to be there for the team.

“It’s not about us,” Mrs. Hutchins said. “We’re just happy to lend a hand when and where it’s needed and see the kids enjoying the benefits of a successful program.”

Coach Ryan Miller ‘99 said he is grateful for the support of the team parents. He commended them for the nutritious meals they provide before games, which help the team “not only fuel up with healthy food options before playing a game but also to build camaraderie allowing the players to spend time with one another off the court.”

 In addition, the funds they raise through the raffle, T-shirt sales, and advertising in the gym allows the team to purchase equipment as well as pay for transportation and post-game food and drinks for the players, he said.

“This is invaluable to our program, allowing us to better serve the needs of our student athletes in the basketball program,” Coach Miller said. “The PHS Boys Basketball program could not function optimally without the tremendous efforts and assistance of the basketball parent volunteers.”

He applauded the Providence parents, who give more than some team parents might have to because of the nature of being a Catholic school.

“At PHS, we often have to give more of ourselves, making sacrifices of our time, efforts, and resources,” Coach Miller said. “However, in that process we also feel like we receive more, as we work together to help meet the needs of each other’s children and families. The parent volunteers are a good example of that … putting our faith in action through sacrifice for one another.”

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