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Hobbton 5k benefits locals, those outside U.S.

By Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer

March 25, 2014

Hobbton High School is preparing to hosting its second 5K run Saturday, and organizers say that they are looking forward to the event and how it can help others.


“We had our first 5K in the fall,” said Jeffrey Klaves, the race director, who is also a teacher at the high school.


“In August of last year we needed new jerseys for soccer,” added Wes Cone, the school’s soccer coach, who is also helping with the run. “People like the idea of running. Jeff is the head coach for cross County and track.”


After the fall run last year, they said that they had raised enough to cover the new jerseys. The NC High School Athletic Association, NCHSAA, dictated that teams had to start wearing white soccer jerseys for home games, causing the team to need the new jerseys.


“We did well (last fall) and decided we needed to continue to raise funds,” Cone detailed.”Other sports, like basketball and football, contribute a lot (of money) to the school.”


Klaves explained that those type of sports bring a lot of spectators, which creates an automatic source of revenue for those sports. It does not typically happen that way for other sports like cross county, track or soccer.


“We want to contribute to ourselves,” stated Cone.


“We generate enough for uniforms and made a dent into cross country and track and field uniforms as well,” commented Klaves. “We want to continue to contribute without asking for more financial support.”


There is a constant need for equipment, they said, and they would like to be able to contribute regularly.


“We were fortunate enough to reach out to Dale Lari,” said Klaves. “It’s an organization that was created for a Hobbton Middle School soccer player named Larissa Estrada.” Larissa was tragically killed in December 2012. Dale Lari means “Go Larissa,” Klaves added.


“They wanted to support the 5K and we want to continue to support them as well,” Cone expressed, further noting that there will be a drive at the event for new and used soccer equipment. In addition to the equipment drive, there will be T-shirts on sale from the first 5K with proceeds to go to Dale Lari.


“They look to give new and used soccer equipment and send it to Nicaragua in loving memory of Larissa Estrada,” said Klaves.


“We struck up a nice partnership,” Cone added.


On race day, which is March 29, there will be a race bag given to participants from the sponsors. David Johnson will also be there taking pictures on race day.


“The first time we had a 5K we had 46 confirmed participants, and this time, two weeks out, we have 70 confirmed participants,” said Klaves. “We are so fortunate that the community is willing to come out and support this.” Right now they have 12 sponsors.


“Lakewood High School’s JROTC will be participating, and using it as a fitness event,” Klaves mentioned. They have hopes of involving other JROTC programs at other schools, and possibly getting a revolving trophy to share with each race’s winner.


Hobbton Middle School will also have 23 young girls coming out on race day as a kickoff for their running club.


“We will have race day T-shirts as well as medals for different age groups,” said Cone.


“Plus this is the inaugural year for cross country at Hobbton High School,” Klaves added. Over the summer students also created a cross country trail. The additional programs are really changing the demographics at the school. They said that around 100 of the four to five hundred students at the school are now in spring sports.


Cone and Klaves said that they have plans for some possible future improvements down the road for race day. They hope to add a one mile fun run, and they also said that they have their ears open for churches that want involvement on race day to have a bake sale or luncheon after the event. Right now they are also mulling around the idea of having a corn hole game.


“The overwhelming community support has led us to this point,” expressed Klaves. They said that the community has been great in supporting athletics.


“We aren’t able to bring in that spectator crowd,” Cone said.


“We are also taking the initiative to get the kids involved in the event,” said Klaves. Karen Braun won the T-shirts design contest for this race’s shirts.


Some other goodies to look forward to from race day include discounts at SweetFrog’s with a participants race day bib. Other businesses that are contributing include Bojangles, which is going to have a coupon for a free Boberry biscuit and and a magnet in the bags. Golden Grove Peanuts will be donating a peanut product in the race day bags added Klaves.


“It has been a fun experience so far and I am looking forward to doing it,” Klaves said. “This (event) will showcase the student and staff involvement.”


Race registration is $25 through March 28, and will be $30 on race day. Race day registration starts at 7 a.m.. Students 6 to 17 can register with ID for the race for $15 and it is free for those under 5. The race starts at 9 a.m..


Fliers can be picked up at Bessie Burger, SweetFrog, and Sunset Donuts. More details, along with fliers can also be found online at www.abcsportscamps.com/hhs


For more information about Dale Lari, see http://dalelari.com


Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at ebrown@civitasmedia.com.