Ask John Newton about being the Hatchet basketball booster president and he’ll tell you he couldn’t do what he does without his wife, Martha and his daughter, Patti. Martha also serves as secretary for the club.
“There’s no way I could all of this without them,” said John. “It’s really a family thing. We all love doing it.”
John served as the booster president for a number of years and then stepped down in 1998 after Patti was born. It was Coach Gene Miiller and Lori Zeller who asked Newton to come back to the club that runs concession stands during nearly every basketball game played in the city.
“We do concessions for the AAU games, elementary games, junior high, freshman, junior varsity, and varsity,” said John, who said some days the family prepares concession at multiple schools in the city.On occasion, the boosters do concessions for ROTC as well.
As part of their booster duties, the Newtons are responsible for ordering soft drinks and other items for concession stands located at Griffith, Lena Dunn, the junior high and the high school. They help with banquets and prepare meals and other snacks for the high school teams as well.
“Each Sunday we go from school to school to see what we need to get ordered for the week,” said Martha.
Preparing the concession stands also means that John and Martha often take late lunches or run booster errands during breaks. Martha also makes her famous coney sauce for each and every game.
The Newtons said at the height of Hatchet basketball hysteria, the stands would sell more than 160 pounds of turkey strips during sectional and regional competition.
Over the years, the Newtons have ordering down to art and they keep records of every order placed.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s all for the kids,” said John. “And we love working with the coaches.”