“Pelican Pride” seeks to boost PAHS athletics

Written by John Dupont on .

A newly formed organization hopes to inject ‘pride’ in the Port Allen High School athletic program.

“Pelican Pride”, a coalition of parents in the area, hope to raise the level of interest in athletic programs at PAHS.

The group will hold a fundraiser Aug. 9 at the West Baton Rouge Community Center. The event will include music and food.

Admission will be $10 per person. Donations are welcome.

The group’s primary attention will focus on basketball, but will eventually branch out to other sports, group president Grover Harrison IV said.

That’s going to be the root of the organization, but the event will be to have people support not only basketball, but Port Allen High School in particular.

“The basketball team is really good, and they usually make the second or third round,” Harrison said. “We want to get the word out for people to come to the games and support the kids.

“A lot of times you have people who see things that need to be done, but nobody takes the lead on it,” he said. “So we got together and said if we can’t do everything we can at least do something.”

At first impression, Harrison almost seems like a fish out of water. He was a three-sport letterman — football, basketball and track — at Brusly High School, where he graduated in 1993.

“It’s odd because I spent most of my life trying to beat Port Allen, and now I’m helping them, ”We want to do something positive and for the community as a whole and bring them together.”

Harrison intends to drum up the same support for Port Allen athletics that the Panther Paws have achieved with Brusly.

At the same time, he wants to pique the interest in Port Allen fans.

“I’m a native of West Baton Rouge Parish, I went to Brusly and it’s a different culture with the support of the game.” Harrison said. “I went to a Port Allen game and left early because they were beating South Beauregard, but on the way home I passed Brusly and there were cars lining up to get out the parking lot.

“Our aim is to have more home fans than visitors in the crowd,” he said.

Harrison will also spearhead fundraisers geared toward pumping more money into the basketball program.

“I told them let’s do a couple of them, raise a target amount and let that be the inaugural account for Pelican Pride.”

He hopes his efforts will spark new interest in the PAHS athletic programs.

“Parents and citizens of Brusly step up,” he said. “Now we want them to come see our kids.”

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