BRYANT, Ark. (KTHV) – The Bryant football team is one of the best teams in the state and with playoffs just around the corner, coaches need help to feed their teams.
Bryant is 8-1 this season and is set to play their first playoff game Friday. But, the team is first asking for some fundraising help to continue to provide meals for the players before kickoff.
"We been one of the top ranked teams in the state all year long,” Head Coach Buck James said.
But winning isn't easy when the players haven't eaten.
"They don't get to go home on Friday nights they're here preparing for the game. So we feed them a pregame meal,” James said.
Mark Knowles, president of the Hornet Touchdown Club, said the football team gets fed twice a week during the regular season.
“It’s $1,600 for two meals, so that’s 800 dollars per meal,” Knowles said. “We just need help, is the bottom line.”
So, in order to keep feeding the team, the club is asking for donations from the business community.
“I sent out a letter to our chamber of commerce asking for our business community to assist us in the playoffs,” Knowles said.
James felt giving the athletes access to food would make them perform better.
"Our booster club, our parents have really done well making sure our kids have plenty to eat,” James said.
So, the club also provides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day.
"Some our kids are getting four to 10 sandwiches a day. It's nutritious. It helps them build muscle. It helps the kids make it through practice a lot better,” Knowles said.
The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not only for the football players, but for all athletes. Knowles said nearly 400 athletes have access to the food every day.
“When we first started we were running about 40 loaves of bread a week, 14 pounds of peanut butter, 13 pounds of jelly,” Knowles said.
But to keep feeding the team, the community needs to step in to help them bring home a championship.
"There's no doubt in my mind, the second year doing this that it's a direct result of the nutrition that these student athletes are taking in,” Knowles said.
If you would like to donate to the Bryant football team, click here.