Jack Barron
ASU Student Journalist

Basha booster club delivers bling and bills to the bashing Bears

April 15, 2024 by Jack Barron, Arizona State University

Basha went 26-4-1 last season en route to its first state title since 2009. (Basha High School photo)

Jack Barron is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Basha High School for AZPreps365.com.

State titles are won on the field, but teams need financial support to survive long seasons.
The Basha softball team is supported by a strong booster club that keeps the Bears on the field. The booster club was critical in funding championship rings and continues to provide everything Basha needs to make life easier for families.

“The booster club really does a good job at setting stuff up making sure that they're taking as much off of me as possible,” Basha head coach Kailey Pomeroy said. “I like to make sure that everything is like a specific way. So this year especially I kind of like step back and let them just do their thing.”

One of the club’s biggest fundraising goals came after Basha won state last season. The Bears needed 30 rings for the team, coaching staff and various faculty. Funding so many rings was a challenge but booster club president Jennifer Martinez knew the board’s work was necessary.

“We have a lot of selfless people that are involved,” Jennifer Martinez said. “There's not a single person on the board that doesn't do everything they do for every one of the girls. We have a huge support in our organizations.”

While the rings are unique to the softball team, Pomeroy worked with Basha’s football team to match elements of their state championship rings from the previous fall. Similar design choices include a Basha logo on the top, a game score and the school’s claim over Val Vista Road.

The custom rings came to the tune of $300 a piece and $9,000 for the entire order. Luckily, Jennifer Martinez and the booster club lined up donations to cover the rings and create a lasting memory for each player.

“That was really special,” Pomeroy said. “We surprised the kids and we also surprised the booster club with necklaces with their kids’ numbers.”

The booster club hit reset on its fundraising goals when the new school year started last August. Jennifer Martinez and the rest of the board knew they would have to raise $40,000 to keep the team competitive. 

Basha has secured sponsorships with businesses like Texas Roadhouse while also counting on smaller fundraisers throughout the year. The combination of business sponsors and player-based fundraisers like carwashes and in-school campaigning slowly built up to help the team reach its goal.

“There's actually just lots of moving parts,” Jennifer Martinez said. “I wouldn't say I do any more than anybody else on the board. We've got five of us and everybody just sort of picks up all the little pieces.” 

The Bears’ budget has to cover an abundance of needs on and off the field. Recently the team had to pay for a new backstop and screens for its home field this season. Most importantly, the booster club provides uniforms, food and other essentials to keep costs low for families.

“As the years have gone by the boosters have taken on a lot more,” Jennifer Martinez said. “Parents pay for pants and that's about it.” 

Keeping expenses down helps some families provide their daughters with everything they need to get better. For one, Dominick Martinez knows that years of groundwork were needed to make Basha one of the best teams in the state. 

Dominick and Jennifer Martinez have spent countless dollars and hours helping their daughter, senior infielder Ada Martinez, play the game she loves. Their story is one of many on a team of players who alternate between club and high school ball.

“Every bit of it is worth it because the work ethic, the environment, you put your kid around the leadership and the strength that they get from that environment is worth everything,” Dominick Martinez said.

High prices for bats, gloves, cleats and hourly rates for training sessions can make softball a game of the haves and have-nots. The fiscal reality of the sport makes the booster club’s effectiveness that much more important to families trying to

“With the community, it seems like there's always a way to bring everybody, even if somebody financially can't do it,” Dominick Martinez said. “The community finds a way to help everybody.”