Big game brings in big bucks for Oneida

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

ONEIDA, Tenn. (WVLT) - It's win or go home for high schools across east Tennessee.

Along with the big game comes big bucks for the state's poorest community.

Oneida in Scott County has a population around 4,000. Every Friday night, nearly half the town is at the high school, cheering on their Indians.

"Oneida's always had great crowd support. People come out and support," said Rick Harper, a dad who has a son on the baseball team.

All year, the Indians only lost once, earning a chance to host a playoff game.

"For our fans, for our team, it's validation for everything we worked for this year," said OHS Principal Kevin Byrd.

With every ticket sold, 25% of the revenue goes to each school. The other half to the TSSAA.

But where Oneida HS will cash in, is concessions.

Every dollar from every hot dog, water, popcorn and whatever else sold, goes to many non-revenue generating sports, like golf and baseball.

"This is really the biggest fundraiser for those folks," said Byrd.

"It's basically what carries the baseball team," said Harper. "You could make on a night like tonight, $1,000-$1,200. And if you take $1,200 for a small high school baseball team, that's a big pay-up."

Unfortunately for Indian fans, Oneida's season came to an end tonight. OHS lost to Boyd Buchanan 21-6.

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