A statement heard more than once as people filed out of Ironman Stadium in Albia on Monday after enjoying the first ever Albia Booster Club Blue Pride Night was “why haven’t we done this before?”

It took a bit of a push from former ACHS coach and administrator Larry Achenbach who shared what his new school district in Chariton has done for many years and a desire by the Booster Club to try something new in their annual membership drive, to create this wildly successful Blue Pride Night.

A membership table greeted parents and supporters of fall athletics, cheerleading and dance team, and then there was a veritable outdoor mall for new and vintage Blue Demon sportswear before people hit the Hy-Vee grill for a burger meal (free for new booster club members.

Following the meal, teams including cross country, volleyball, football, cheerleading, dance team and a special introduction of the state tournament summer softball team, were introduced and coaches spoke briefly about their teams.

Iowa Hall of Fame basketball player and highly successful coach and now Indianola Superintendent Art Sathoff was guest speaker for the night and Sathoff gave a powerful 25-minute talk on the five levels of leadership as well as the importance of participation in school activities. Sathoff is a strong advocate of students participating in multiple sports as well as music, speech and drama.

He recognized former Pekin standout, Jody Buckingham, a former player of his, now an volunteer assistant cross country coach and Albia Booster Club member, as well as Superintendent Kevin Crall, who he has known for many years as an administrator and coach. He complimented Albia and its “Blue Pride Way” as a goal he has set for the Indianola school district.

For students and parents heading into new seasons of competiton, Sathoff struck all the right notes, telling the large stadium crowd that faith, family and work were his priorities and encouraging people to become leaders in their school and community.

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