New Gridiron Club rallies LHS football support

Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil On July 19, the new London Football Gridiron Club hosted a golf outing fundraiser at National Road Golf Course in West Jefferson. Players and coaches helped in many ways, including grilling hotdogs for golfers to eat after the first nine holes. At the grill are: (from left) Austin Minnick, Coach Jason Johnson, Aaron Cremeens and Josh Dulin.
Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
On July 19, the new London Football Gridiron Club hosted a golf outing fundraiser at National Road Golf Course in West Jefferson. Players and coaches helped in many ways, including grilling hotdogs for golfers to eat after the first nine holes. At the grill are: (from left) Austin Minnick, Coach Jason Johnson, Aaron Cremeens and Josh Dulin.

(Posted Aug. 6, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A new volunteer group aims to restore and promote pride in the London High School football program.

The Gridiron Club, formed about two months ago, has already held two fundraisers—a meet-the-coach dinner and a golf outing. More fundraisers and events are in the works as the season approaches.

“We’re a group of like-minded people who want to rejuvenate a sense of spirit by getting behind the new football coach and program,” said D.J. Jones, club president.

This spring, London City Schools hired Kyle Cutler, a Jonathan Alder alum, as head football coach.

“We like the hire they made in Coach Cutler. We like his youthful enthusiasm and his standards,” Jones said.

Even before Cutler was hired, the group that became the Gridiron Club talked about the need to change the general mentality regarding London football. In the big picture, they see support for the football program having a positive impact on other sports and even academics, leading to an overall enhanced sense of pride in the school and the community.

“We’re trying to get people to interact with one another, and we’re using football to do that,” Jones said.

The club is tackling its goals from several angles. They plan to host tailgates at home football games, get youth league players into the stands on Friday nights, and help players who can’t afford pay-to-participate fees or other costs associated with playing the game.

With proceeds from their first fundraiser, they purchased an endzone camera to supply coaches with footage for teaching proper technique. They also hope to buy more audiovisual equipment, upgrade the weight room and uniforms, and lend support to other volunteer groups who supply team meals. Another goal is to fund a college scholarship to be awarded to a football player each spring.

“We want every young man who sacrifices his body on the field to understand that the community supports them and is proud of them,” Jones said.

In addition to Jones, Gridiron Club officers are: Bob Minner, vice president; Drew Hildebrand, treasurer; and Matt Goodwin, secretary. The club is open to anyone. Annual dues are $50.

Donations may be made to “London Football Gridiron Club” and mailed to P.O. Box 82, London, OH 43140 For more information, look for “London Football Gridiron Club” on Facebook.

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