Middle school sports programs soon may be a thing of the past in one local county.
But a teacher and coach has launched a one-man campaign to save them.
Philippi Middle School teacher Nick Mayle wants to raise money for the programs with a walk across state lines.
Mayle coaches football at Philippi Middle School, and soon he'll make a trek to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, to raise money and awareness, so fields like these won't remain empty this fall. Mayle said exercise is just the beginning when it comes to the benefits sports can offer.
"Some of these kids use that as motivation to do well in the classroom to perform to the best of their ability and coached that hold them to that expectation that want them to do well, we're right there, if they start to slip a little bit, we're right there to help them turn around," Mayle said.
The funds Mayle raises will go to the Barbour All-County Sports Organization (BACSO), which has been working with the school board to find alternate way to fund those programs. Superintendent Joe Super said he's glad to work with BACSO to reach those goals.
"Folks with this organization have been great from the point of view that they want to try to help find a solution for this, which I totally, totally support their efforts," said Super.
While Mayle said winning a game is always nice, there are other victories he wants to see continue in Barbour County.
"You can have a kid that maybe wasn't doing well in the classroom and wasn't doing well socially and turn that around, that's a success. If you can model for them, if they haven't had a role model to look up to and now they have something to use to help guide them through life, that's a success," said Mayle.
Mayle said he hopes to raise $50,000 to help fund those sports programs by July 1. If you'd like to donate, you can go online to the group's Facebook page.
For more information on BACSO, visit its Facebook page.