Who is going to bid that first $100… Cyclone Dugout Club hosting fifth annual auction fundraiser

Published 2:29 am Friday, January 31, 2020

The Elizabethton Cyclone baseball team advanced to their second consecutive state baseball tournament appearance last season and to say it would be a let down this season if they didn’t make yet another trip would be a major understatement.
To help make that happen, Cyclone head coach Ryan Presnell has scheduled a rigorous schedule that will give the Cyclones some of the best challenges to prepare for a shot at another trip and more importantly an opportunity to bring home a state championship.
As anyone that has been around sports knows, it takes quite a bit of funds to travel and play so the Cyclone Dugout Club has told their head coach to focus on the season as they get ready to host their fifth annual Cyclone Dugout Club Auction on Saturday evening inside the Elizabethton Commons area.
Tickets are $5 each with dinner and a silent auction set to begin at 5:30 pm and the live auction will kick off at 7 pm. The club has secured over 100 baskets of items to be auctioned off with the two big items on the auction block being an all-inclusive Disney vacation for four and tickets to the Final Four which will be played in Atlanta this year.
With all the time it takes to get a team prepared, an event such as this is something that helps to take a lot of added pressure off of a coach who has the drive for his program to reach the heights as Presnell desires for his team.
“This auction is our sole fundraiser,” said Presnell. “We don’t do any other fundraiser besides this one. When I took over as coach we did a bunch and we decided that we would rather put all of our eggs in one basket and do an event that the community could rally around to really come out and support these kids.
“It’s a big event. There a lot of things that we have to offer. There are small things that will go out the door for $5 and some things that will go out the door for $5000. It’s just a really neat event that helps us kick off the start of our practice in 10 days and just a good feel to it all around.”
Presnell would be the first one to admit that an event such as this takes an army and the head coach said that he has one of the best groups of supporters around when it comes to a high school baseball program.
“Our parents are just absolutely great. I kind of share my desire of what I want the kids to have for the year and they take it and run with it. We get really good participation from the parents and they have done it all this year,” Presnell stated.
“I have usually played a little role here and there but this year they told me they wanted it and told me to focus on baseball and that’s what I have done. So I haven’t had to worry about fundraising at all this year and it just speaks volumes as to the type of people they are and really the type of kids that they bring to our program.”
Many don’t realize the commitment it takes to have a state-level baseball program and the importance of being able to go beyond just the local area for competition in the hopes of getting better as a team.
For the Cyclone program, the taste of state success in the last two years has not only been an eye-opener but there have been learning experiences that have came out of the trips into what is needed to win at that level.
“Travel is really expensive and we don’t want our kids to bring a lot of money on the road just because I have three kids myself and you are doling out cash left and right so with this fundraiser we are able to pay for those trips,” Presnell added.
“We are really trying to prepare the kids to take the big trip at the end of the year so that we can not only go down there but go down there and make some noise. Road trips are big for us and the apparel for the kids to do the things we expect them to do is very important and the nutrition during the year is very important.
“We have things in the locker room to supplement what they eat here at school,” Presnell continued. “So this event is very important for us. The money is not going toward frivolous stuff but toward what the kids really need.”
Presnell went on to add that those that come will not be disappointed in the items that will be available for them to bid on to help the team.
“The amount of stuff we have is really impressive. There is something for everyone,” Presnell said with a grin.

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