DONIPHAN, MO (KFVS) - A group of supporters is working to bring football back to Doniphan junior and senior high schools after a more than 30 year program hiatus.
Gary Pennington founded the nonprofit Doniphan for Football Inc.
He hopes to raise money for the Doniphan R-1 School District through the organization to help cover the cost of starting a team from scratch. Its part a plan he presented to the school board earlier this year.
"We would like the school board to take on as much of [the funding] as they can and then, we as a corporation, will try to fund the rest of it," Pennington said.
He estimates it will cost $450,000-$500,000 to bring junior high, junior varsity, and varsity teams to the school district, staggered over the course of three years.
That estimate includes everything from uniforms and equipment to a new stadium and coaching salaries.
Pennington says he already has commitments from some local businesses to help fund the project. He also hopes to be able to sell brick memorials at the new stadium to raise money.
"We're really glad we're at the point where we are right now," Pennington said.
In 2000, Pennington, along with area coaches, formed a Doniphan youth football league.
Children between third and sixth grades can participate.
Pennington says he started the league with hopes it would someday lead to football returning to the public schools.
"We've got the talent here and we're just waiting for permission to get started."
He says a varsity team would be a benefit to the community as a whole.
"It's a great thing. It brings the school closer together and it's just a lot of fun," Pennington said.
Pennington says the school board will discuss if they'll accept his proposal to co-fund the program, Tuesday, at the regularly scheduled meeting. A final vote is expected sometime later in the week.
We reached out to the school board for comment but have not immediately heard back.
Football for Doniphan will hold a community tailgate rally, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, at the Doniphan City Ballpark for supporters of a new football program.