THATCHER — High school sports aren’t cheap. Living in Arizona, longer commutes and not having the luxury to return home between playoff games tend to put them on the expensive side.

It can easily cost $500 to cover the cost of traveling to one game, and Thatcher football has six away games this year.

Saturday’s live auction at Thatcher High School, which raised almost $27,000 to benefit Thatcher football and cheerleading, should help lessen that cost. The auction started several years ago, borrowing the idea from Willcox.

The fund-raiser also featured a silent auction, tables and hat and T-shirt sales, which could bring the proceeds to more than $35,000 according to a social media post by the THS Booster Club.

Cheerleading assistant coach Taliya said, “I love this. I love when the community comes together. They love to see kids succeed. Everyone helps each other. I think it’s awesome. A lot of the things getting auctioned have personal touches, like they’re from the heart. They put a lot of love into what they donate to the school for the town to bid on. We wouldn’t be able to travel and support the team with just our funds.”

Assistant football coach Don Conrad said, “It’s really been spectacular. (Dan) Turley is an unbelievable auctioneer. The Booster Club has really expanded. The generosity of the community is unbelievable. The businessmen support the kids. A lot of them have kids that go to the school, or have grandkids. It’s been a great thing because this allows us to do things we wouldn’t be able to do without it.

“The cheerleaders and football players will be sitting in these chairs a few years from now, and they’ll have kids in the program, so I think it’s a wonderful thing to build this tradition. There is a lot of generosity here, for sure.”

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had some great athletes and that we’ve had good teams. I’ve been here 25 years, and the football team has always been competitive. When you get in this auction, you see it a little bit. And this doesn’t just help football; it helps all of the programs. It leaves money for other programs. It paves the way for the rest of the year.”

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