Funding drive underway for PHS football program

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

A fundraising effort for the Pawhuska High School football program was recently launched — with an ambitious goal.

PHS head football coach Joe Tillman said donated funds will ensure that the Huskies “have the best resources and equipment available to help them perform at the highest level.?

The coach hopes community members will support the Huskies by contributing to their success.

“We’re on a mission,” said Tillman.

As announced Monday, the football-funding drive is attempting to gather $3,000 in donations before the end of July.

“Running a successful program takes a lot of time, energy and money from coaches, players and parents,” Tillman said. “None of this, however, is possible without community support.”

Tillman, a longtime local coach of successful elementary league squads, was hired to lead the high school program on June 7. He is the Huskies’ fifth head coach in six seasons.

Pawhuska’s football fundraising is being coordinated through a national sports website: hudl. The Lincoln, Neb.-based site has been sending emails to potential contributors on behalf of Tillman.

The coach’s email provides a link to the PHS donation page, which offers seven levels for contribution ranging from $10 to $200.

“Every donation will help,” Tillman said.

A video of Huskie football highlights also can be viewed on the hudl’s website, which operates as a sports tech enterprise that provides tools for reviewing game footage. Owned by Agile Sports Technologies, hudl claims to have helped more than 100,000 professional, college and amateur athletic teams improve their performances. Reportedly, it is the fastest-growing private company in Nebraska.


Since early June, varying numbers of Pawhuska youth have been participating in the Huskies’ Summer Pride Program. There usually are around a dozen male, female, junior high and high school athletes going through SPA (Speed, Power and Agility) Training. Workouts begin at 7:30 a.m. several mornings a week at the PHS weightroom and training facility.

Huskie/Lady Huskie athletes from all sports are welcome at the workout sessions. Last summer, the daily workouts involved an average of about 30 participants. The current training has been alternated between 4-day and 3-day cycles. SPA sessions will continue through July, coach Mark Frye said.

“We conduct preseason progressive running for all football players starting on July 25 -28 and then Aug. 1-4 for the purpose of conditioning and heat acclimation,” Frye added.

While athletes from other sports can participate, the running sessions are mandatory for football players.

One regular attendee at the summer workouts has been junior Tyler Wilson, a transfer from Barnsdall who’s expected to help the Huskies on the football field this fall.

Wilson gave an immediate boost to the Pawhuska basketball squad following his arrival in January. Last spring on the track, he helped the Huskies’ sprint relays qualify for state. The PHS boys also won their first Regional team title in several years.