In sports, it’s always important to have parents who are dedicated to helping the entire nest succeed.
And as a whole group, there’s very few groups of parents who are as tight-knit as the Portsmouth High School Football Mother’s Club.
The dedicated club, which has been in existence since 1970 when it was founded by Janie Clifford, the mother of former player and longtime Portsmouth High School head coach Curt Clifford, who was the longest-tenured coach in the area at one point in time.
Since its foundation, mothers and grandmothers alike have helped provide a solid foundation for PHS players to stand on for 47 years by holding rummage sales, selling T-shirts, feeding the football players and cheerleaders the day before every football game, and even finding sponsors to help fund the events that the program holds.
For Kelly Carter, it’s all about helping the players in order to ensure that their experience is the best one possible.
“Our main function is to raise money to support the football team and to try to do activities that supplement what the team can provide,” Carter said. “Any mother figure can get involved with the club.”
Carter — whose son, Logan, is a senior wide receiver/defensive back and one of 59 lettermen that will don the Trojan colors in 2017 — is one of six mothers who are administrators in the club’s 38-member Facebook page. Together, the group coordinates events for the entire team, which prove to not only develop bonds between the players, but the parents as well.
“We have approximately 30 members in our club,” Carter said. “People seem to like it. You definitely gain new friendships by the time you’ve been in it for four years with your son, or even longer if you’ve got more than one son. It’s really neat to form lifelong friendships and keep those strong bonds long after your son has graduated.”
One of those events that Carter and the mother’s club will be hosting is a rummage sale, which runs on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the former Portsmouth High School gymnasium. There, Carter and the club hope to raise at least $1,000, with every bit of the proceeds from the sale being funneled back into the football program. The club raised $1,000 in the first year of the rummage sale in 2016.
“It would be wonderful if we could hit that goal again,” Carter said. “To meet our goal of $1,000, like we did last year, would be excellent.”
The club, however, goes beyond football, as it provides a way for families to learn about, and develop an appreciation for, individuals of different backgrounds.
“There’s been different things that have happened, within our mother’s club, that have allowed us to pull together and rally around that person,” Carter said. “Just things outside of football, everyday life things, where we have rallied around each other and supported each other.”
For more information about the rummage sale or the Portsmouth High School Football Mother’s Club, contact Carter at (740) 821-9525.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7