Castle Rock, CO
Over the past 4 years, the “Back The Cats” preseason event has served as a forerunner to the CV Football season, getting the community ready to cheer on their beloved Cats to success.
“Summer is so busy and Football seems to creep up on a lot of people in the community who are not directly involved with the program,” stated Charles Oster, the events conceiver and organizer from 2016-2018. Oster, the previous president of the Castle View Gridiron Club talked about the original objectives of Back The Cats: “We wanted something different. We knew we needed to raise money. And we knew we needed to get the community engaged. As we looked at and even attended other football programs events around the region, we saw things that we liked, but it always seemed to be lacking something. Some of the best ones we went to as it related to fund-raising didn’t have the kids there. This was a huge miss as far as we were concerned. We desired an event where it celebrated the players, coaches, staff, while also providing attendees something of value. This is why we chose a format of a meal, introduction of players/coaches, featured speaker and auction. This allowed the players to be engaged while members of the community could take value away from the speaker”. Speakers have included, CSU coaching great, Sonny Lubick, NFL Hall of Famer, Terrell Davis and Bronco legend, Karl Mecklenburg. Oster continued, “another reason we loved the BTC event was that it gave our volunteers a great opportunity to get in the 'mode' before the season started. It kind of activated everyone and got them into ‘football shape’, similar to our players”, stated Oster. “It was like by the time the first game was kicking off- everyone was in full football mindset.”
The 2019 event followed the blue-print in which Oster and his team created and produced a massively successful result in 2019. BTC had nearly 400 in attendance, according to Eric Plummer, president of CVGC.
“Based upon ticket sales and auction, we anticipate that we are beginning to make a nice dent into our 2019 fund-raising objectives”, stated Plummer. The Castle View Gridiron Club is a 501-c3 and supports not only the CV Football program, but a variety of other projects that benefit the community both in Castle Rock and around the country. In the past, this has included scholarships, storm-ravaged schools, improvements at the school and district buildings, the DC-Elbert Country Task Force and more. “We intend to meet our charter and we thank those who are supporting the community through supporting the CVGC,” continued Plummer.
Plummer acknowledged the work of an army of volunteers who made the event possible, “This years event was another hit because of the amazing volunteers we had working to ensure its success. Joyce Madonia is simply amazing."
Madonia, a Neonatal Nurse, is a member of the booster club executive committee, and is for responsible for events. She enters her second year with the booster club and 2nd BTC event.
BTC introduced the 2019 players and coaches to the community, while featuring college coaching legend, Gary Barnett. Barnett Coached football at CU and Northwestern, bringing each program to top-tier bowls such as the Rose and Fiesta Bowls. "This is unlike any other High School event in the country", stated Barnett to the crowd as he took the stage. Barnett spoke the with particular intent on communicating to the players. "The pupil must be ready to teach", emphasizing that leaders must emerge every year in order for a program to continually exceed expectations.
Oster concluded, “it was hard for us to not be at the event as we were with our college-aged kids over the weekend. But it was still fun to be involved from another state, bidding on items and watching updates on Twitter. It is pretty rewarding to see an event like this continue to grow, adapt and continue to get better and better each year. I am really proud of the Gridiron Club leadership team for taking it to the next level.”
The program and community now turns its entire focus on football, with Game One around the corner on Thursday, August 29th at DCS Stadium In Castle Rock vs Fossil Ridge.