By David Jolkovski

Competitive high school volleyball doesn’t come cheap.

That’s why Desert Vista High School’s boys volleyball team is working with its booster club and Breyer Law Offices of Ahwatukee to put on the first of what organizers hope to make an annual event – a golf tournament.

“We are trying to accomplish big goals on and off the court,” said volleyball head coach Clay Webb. “In order to ensure that all our student athletes are able to be successful, it takes a lot of time and money to create a great program. I want to create a culture that allows for these young men to develop and persevere through challenges they might face on and off the court.”

The Thunder Scramble Golf Tournament will be held at 8 a.m. May 25 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa. The $70 per-player fee includes a bucket of range balls, cart and a barbecue dinner.

Organizers have set an April 21 deadline for buying tickets and also are offering a wide range of tax-deductible sponsorships that they hope will attract the support of local businesses. Webb can be contacted at 480-706-7900, ext. 70111 or cwebb@tuhsd.k12.az.us for information.

Booster Teddie Baldwin said the team needs financial support.

“It takes a lot of money to pay for volleyball tournaments, meals, uniforms, balls and so forth,” Baldwin said. “It is up to the coach and boosters to raise money.”

Every year, Desert Vista has tried to travel out of state to at least one tournament a year, but the cost can reach $5,000, with food, travel expenses and hotel as well as the tournament entry fee.

There are also two state tournaments that can require travel and other expenses such as weekly team dinners, apparel for the season and the end-of-year team banquet.

“It takes a lot of work and time to raise the amount of money we need in order to continue to create a winning program,” Baldwin said, noting people can support the tournament as players, prize donors or sponsors.

Baldwin added that the organizers have only started rounding up prizes that hopefully can provide a silent auction. The winner in the tournament will get a free foursome at Ak-Chin.

Webb said there were various reason for opting for golf as a fundraiser.

“First, who doesn’t enjoy to golf?” he said. “Second, my high school friend and college roommate is the head pro at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes and his course is always in great shape. It has phenomenal facilities, and they are super-easy to work with.

“Lastly, I have done a fundraiser like this before and with support from the community and a little time and planning, we can make this a really special and unique event that hopefully we can make our only fundraiser for the year.”

He also noted that there is “a handful of local businesses that support us in a variety of ways and this is a great way for us to say thank you by advertising and promoting their businesses through ads in our programs we hand out at all home games, signage on the course and tee flags and through word of mouth.”

Webb is hoping that his players do most of the tournament recruiting, noting that there are 45 players in all when counting the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams.

“If each player can get two golfers to join the event, then we would be able to bring in a good amount of traffic – which in the end is outstanding for all who are involved.”

People who can’t attend the tournament but want to help the team can make a check out to DV Boy’s Volleyball and send to DV Boy’s Volleyball, Desert Vista High School, 16440 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85048. 

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