Last week, Carolina Hurrianes equipment manager Jorge Alves got the thrill of a lifetime. With the team’s backup goaltender sick, the club signed Alves to an amateur tryout agreement to back up their starting goaltender for the night. With the Hurricanes down 3-1 with less than eight seconds remaining, the head coach sent Alves out to finish the game. The 37 year old equipment manager didn’t see a shot, but he can say he played a little over seven seconds of NHL action.
That said, the high point for any professional athlete isn’t their first game in the pros - it’s when their very first official rookie card hits the store shelves. For Alves, and now some Tea Area High School athletes, that day will soon arrive.
The Tea Sports Boosters have been working extremely hard on creating awareness not only for Sports Boosters as an entity, but also working on building up school spirit within the community. With many accomplished athletes and programs, but few state titles, the Boosters wanted a way to recognize and cement Tea’s senior athletes in school history. Sports cards were brought up, and soon agreed upon, as a great way to accomplish their goal.
“The Spirit Committee is pleased to put 52 graduating seniors in the limelight on February 17th with our first event – Senior Signing Night,” said Cheri Anderson, head of the Spirit Committee and wife of Girls Soccer coach Mark Anderson.
The event will feature the school district’s 52 senior athletes on individual trading cards. As part of the event, the athletes will have a “signing night” in the high school commons, where fans will be able to get their cards autographed by Tea’s leading senior athletes. The Tea Sports Boosters began taking pre-orders for card sets on December 29th, and will do so again on January 6th. The event will take place during the double header basketball game against Elk Point-Jefferson.
“This is something we’d like to do annually to recognize Tea’s senior athletes,” said Anderson.
While the project currently only includes seniors, Anderson hasn’t ruled out juniors, sophomores or freshmen for future card releases. Sports represented include Girls and Boys Soccer, Girls and Boys Basketball, Football, Wrestling, Cheer, Volleyball, Track & Field, Cross Country, Golf and Softball.
Thanks to event sponsors MSH Architects and Weisser Distributing, the cost of the complete card set has dropped from $11 to $5, and there will also be special Tea Senior Signing Day t-shirts available for just $11. These t-shirts will be locally made by Octane Inc. Sport Photo is also a sponsor, taking pictures of the athletes for free, and also producing the cards.
Those interested in purchasing cards or shirts, but can’t make it to the January 6th game to pre-order, are encouraged to contact Cheri Anderson via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s unknown whether or not card sets will be available for purchase after the February 17th event.