An Opening Night event plan and hype video, a promotional giveaway for fans and a new specialty food item will be part of the Lexington Legends 2017 season, thanks to the recently completed second annual Stache Tank competition.
Students from Bryan Station High School, Crawford Middle School and William Wells Brown Elementary competed this year. Stache Tank is based on the popular television program "Shark Tank," in which would-be entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a panel of potential investors. "Stache" is a reference to the Legends' mustache logo.
Teams of students went through competition at each of their schools to determine finalists, who then made presentations to a panel of business leaders and Legends officials at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
The Bryan Station teams produced an Opening Night event plan that will salute the school and showcase the talents of Bryan Station students. The students also produced a special video to add to the atmosphere for Opening Night, which is Thursday, April 13.
Kayla Stanley, a sophomore, appreciated the opportunity to team up with older students.
"Working with others higher up was a big thing, but we all worked well together," she said. "I think it helps when you all know each other. But aside from that, getting up in front of people as a group and presenting your hard work, knowing that you could walk away losing or winning - whatever it may be, you gain certain aspects that you couldn't have gotten without this experience."
Developing a budget and staying within it while finding materials for their ideas presented a challenge for the group. Stanley said her classwork provided a good base of knowledge for those issues - especially the budget.
"Definitely, the budget," she said, and added that acquiring materials such as glow sticks, neon duct tape, and staff t-shirts without exceeding their budget meant relying on their math skills.
Bryan Station team members also included Drake Witt, Kageman Mason, Auryan Padgett, Kylie Barefoot and Melissa Canales.
"The Legends' Stache Tank is an incredible opportunity for students to showcase the many different things they've been exposed to," said Bryan Station associate principal Carl Hayden. "It gives them an opportunity to work together in teams, whether it's the academy, or students from culinary, or students from business. They all get an opportunity to come together to devise a plan to show off their talents and show what students here at Bryan Station can do."
A team from Crawford Middle School developed bacon-wrapped chicken bites, which were a hit with the judges and will now be a featured Kentucky Ale Taproom restaurant menu item and concession stand item for Legends fans in 2017. Crawford students Alonna Allen, LeAira Beatty, Claynisha Mayberry and Lataiya Jones came up with the winning idea, cost analysis and plans for production.
The team needed math and algebra skills as part of their research, said Allen, a seventh grade student. And it was "people skills," she said, that were required once the students were in front of the panel of judges to make their presentation.
"I was nervous, but excited," she said. "And I'm excited about trying our food at a game."
"I was able to take a pretty good cross-section of our students, put them in small groups and watch them learn how to work together as a team," said Crawford principal Mike Jones. "Also, it was very encouraging to see them use a lot of the math skills they learned through our math standards and apply them to a real-world project, and then be able to take that and present it to a group of strangers. I was very encouraged by how our students represented Crawford, and I'm very proud of them."
The first 1,000 fans through the gates on the afternoon of Sunday, April 16 will receive a fruit-infused water bottle designed by Egypt Brooks, Teayla Granville, Olivia Jones, and Ayanna Darrington, all fifth grade students at William Wells Brown Elementary.
"Our students used math, writing, technology skills, and research to accomplish writing persuasive pieces, " said Monica Davis, 21st Century Grant program director at William Wells Brown. "They created visual charts to share data collected. "
Working on a project that would be widely seen and used outside their classroom added to the students' energy, Davis said. "The fifth grade students who participate in the 21st Century Community Learning Center at WWB were so excited to be asked to create a giveaway item for the Legends."
"The Legends' Stache Tank idea emerged originally in 2016 from our drive to take a more active role in Minor League Baseball's nationwide diversity initiative, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this community program again for the 2017 season," said Legends vice president of business development Sarah Bosso. "Working with these remarkable students has been quite rewarding. Seeing them work through challenges and celebrate the triumphs while also breaking down the process of building something to offer the community, has been the highlight of my off season."
For more information about the Stache Tank program, contact Sarah Bosso at (859) 422-7855 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.