Varsity “S” organization dedicated to helping SHS athletic programs


Savannah Bone, Staff Writer

Are you a student-athlete? If so, have you wondered if there is an organization that supports you and your team in a variety of ways?

For example, who takes care of paying for summer and winter leagues, trophies, tournaments, and much more?

Well, look no further than the “Varsity S”. 

Varsity S has one goal: to help Stroudburg’s athletic programs. In addition, when a team or an individual does really well during competition, Varsity S provides rewards for them. For example, when one of Stroudsburg’s teams wins a district championship, they will be awarded jackets as a token of gratitude from the organization.

Varsity S also gives out 6-8 scholarships every year to those student-athletes that deserve them. Applications begin in April.

One of the impressive contributions Varsity S has made over the years is spearheading the renovations of the weight room at the Ross-Stulgaitis football stadium. The organization recognized the need for a better weight room, so the members worked hard to raise money and purchase new equipment.

Not only has the program improved Stroudsburg’s weight room, but they have also contributed towards the annual all-sports banquet, funded numerous auxiliary equipment needs for such teams as golf, swimming, baseball, football, and field hockey to name a few, have funded off-season league entrance/tournament fees for field hockey, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball and have sponsored youth leagues for football and basketball throughout the many years the club has been active. 

Varsity S has existed at Stroudsburg for over 60 years, and consists of all different members of the community, including coaches, teachers, parents and more. The president, Mr. Bruce Baustein, spent 42 years teaching social studies in the Stroudsburg Area School District, and he also coached football during his time teaching until he retired in 2013. 

Though he no longer works for the district, he has remained the president of the association, showing his true dedication to the athletics department. Baustien began his career at Stroudsburg as a student and has appreciated the school ever since. He has enjoyed being a part of Varsity S and helping all sports teams with their funding needs. 

“For over sixty years, Stroudsburg High School and Varsity S Association have formed a partnership in support for all the school’s girls and boys sports programs,” said Baustien. “We look forward to continuing that partnership for years to come.”

The Varsity S organization recognizes that the school can’t provide everything to teams, so they help with the cause by raising money for SHS sports.  They typically raise money through fun events and concession sales.

This school has such a rich history in athletics, and the Varsity S has been supporting each program behind the scenes for decades,” said Mr. Douglas Batt, who is the head girls soccer coach. “I am honored to be a part of the Varsity S.” 

By far, the most money that is raised for Varsity S is through concession stand sales at games. However, there have been many more exciting events that have taken place. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there haven’t been any recent fundraisers, but over the years many occasions have occurred. For example, they have held a 10 week raffle, membership drives, and even an annual donkey basketball game. All proceeds from fundraisers go directly to support SHS athletics.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot has changed for the program. Throughout 2020, the concession stands weren’t opened up to athletes or spectators, which resulted in much less money being raised.

Thankfully, in 2021, with the spread of vaccinations, Varsity S has been able to re-open the concession stands. The concession stands also allow for members of NHS (National Honors Society) and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) to gain volunteer hours for their clubs.

“We’re very proud that the focus and goals of the club have never changed,” said long-time member Mr. Shawn Thornton. “It is truly what a booster club is supposed to be. There is no agenda tied to any person. We just want to help.” 

The Varsity S meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Yard of Ale on Main Street in Stroudsburg. They are always open to new members to actively participate in helping Stroudsburg athletics.