Southside baseball team trying to raise money to finish season

Published 10:54 pm Monday, April 11, 2016

The Southside High School baseball team is trying to raise funds so that it can balance its books at the end of this season.

The Panthers still have four games remaining in their regular season, but they many not have the money needed to go to two of the road contests because of a lack of money available. A third remaining “road” game is against Ellwood Christian, but the Panthers won’t have to travel for that one. Like Southside, Ellwood plays its home games at Bloch Park.

“Every time we play because the lack of fan support or just support period, we go in the hole,” said Southside coach John Solomon. “You have to pay the referees so much and you have to pay for the usage of the field.”

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Solomon said at the beginning of the year, the Panthers had some decent crowds, but they’ve gotten smaller throughout the year. Due to the lack of funding, Solomon said Southside chose to play one of its home area games against Thomasville on the road.

“They offered to pay us to come play down there,” Solomon said.

The Southside football team dealt with the same problem in the fall. The Panthers played two of their scheduled home football games as road contests because their opponents were willing to pay them to travel.

Now those problems have shifted over to the baseball diamond.

“I have 18 players, but I don’t have 18 fans in the stands,” Solomon said.

The GoFundMe page is asking for $1,500 and has raised $50 in three days. Solomon said he has also received at least one other donation, outside of the GoFundMe page.

Solomon said the team really needs to raise more than $1,500, but he didn’t want to ask for an unrealistic amount. He said a lot of the money will go toward paying the city of Selma for using Bloch Park at the end of the month.

“I just wanted to put a number out there that was feasible, and we could reach and maybe it would get the program out of the hole,” Solomon said.

Solomon said the team has tried many different fundraisers in the past, including selling donuts, raffling off a Valentines Day basket and the team continues to accept donations.

Southside is 4-9 and is in the midst of a seven game losing streak. The Panthers are scheduled to play Maplesville on Thursday and at Calhoun on April 21.

Solomon said anyone that wants to help out can bring a check to the school or can donate on the GoFundMe page. The GoFundMe page can be found by searching for Southside High School on the website.