GREENVILLE — Approximately $25,000 has been raised so far for to support the once-suspended Greenville Public School sports, said Dr. Ilean Richards, of the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation.
Former NFL player Cleo Montgomery's $10,000 donation was matched by the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation (MCEI), and the other $5,000 have come from various donations, said Richards during a sports forum Friday at the Greenville Higher Education Center.
“And (the MCEI) is willing to give more funds if need be,” Richards said during the hour-long meeting, with about 30 people in attendance.
Baseball, soccer, slow-pitch softball, tennis, golf and powerlifting were recently re-instated by the district due to the efforts of the community to raise money to support the programs.
Another $20,575 is needed to reach the minimum amount listed to support all six sports this year.
As of now, the suspended sports are totally out of the hands of the school district; it’s up to the Greenville community to fund the non-revenue producing sports.
The first sports scheduled to take place are slow-pitch softball and soccer, which begin in August. Currently, GWHS is without a coach for slow-pitch softball. One person in attendance at the meeting, who said she has experience in softball, volunteered to help out if need be.
The volunteers who have pledged to help raise the needed funds will be targeting local business, churches and civic clubs to attain additional money.
Also, GWHS is still without a head basketball coach. Superintended Dr. Harvey Franklin said that a recommendation should be given to the school board by early next week.
Assistant coach Tyrone Lewis has taken over the program since Ernie Watson left for Hattiesburg in May.