When the last trophy had been handed out and two days of 7-on-7 and Lineman Challenges had finally wrapped up Saturday, Carl Robinson Jr., the event coordinator, was already contemplating the second annual Killeen Texas Scholarship Showdown — just minutes after the first one had ended.
“I think we’ll actually start the planning for ourselves next week for next year’s event,” Robinson said.
The Scholarship Showdown was born when Robinson and his fraternity brothers of the Killeen-Fort Hood Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. were brainstorming an event to raise money for scholarships.
“And we were trying to figure out a way to involve the community with the fundraiser,” Robinson said. “And, of course, sports is one of the biggest community events that you can come up with, especially football in Texas.”
The chapter decided on a 7-on-7 tournament, a summertime staple in Texas. But the brothers didn’t stop there.
The annual Scholarship Showdown would also include a Lineman Challenge and a skills combine, testing athletes from elementary to high school seniors in a myriad of events, including the 40-yard dash and the broad jump.
“(We) didn’t know exactly how it was going to all evolve,” Robinson said, “but over time, with the planning efforts and figuring out what was going to be what, we had a good showing.”
Afterward, Robinson thanked Killeen ISD — for allowing the chapter to use Leo Buckley Stadium and the adjacent practice fields for the events — as well as a host of sponsors, including HEB, Sam’s Club, Subway, KFC, Academy Sports and McAlister’s Deli that also contributed to the event.
But the corporations weren’t the only contributors to the event.
Just as Robinson and his chapter had planned, the Killeen community got involved as well.
“The community came out, they sponsored athletes, they sponsored teams, they came out, did volunteer work,” Robinson said. “So the support from the community was overwhelming.”
Ellison head football coach Trent Gregory was on hand for both days of the Showdown and was more than impressed with the event the fraternity was able to put on.
“(Robinson) organized and structured everything, he and the group he’s a part of,” Gregory said Saturday. “They did a heck of a job with this whole thing.
“It’s been an awesome two days.”
But now, Robinson hopes to see the event expand, particularly on the participation side in 7-on-7.
Robinson said he was disappointed that all of the Killeen ISD schools didn’t participate — Ellison had two teams and Killeen had one -— but that he hopes to see teams from outside Killeen send teams next year anyway.
Understanding that contacting teams before the summer starts was the biggest lesson learned this year, Robinson said.
“I think if we had started earlier, we could’ve gotten more teams involved,” Robinson said. “Because most teams create their budget for summer by the end of school and they pay for that stuff. So if you don’t get that information to them by the end of school, then most of them don’t participate.”
Hence why Robinson was already eager to get started on the second annual Scholarship Showdown on Saturday.
That type of diligence was a reason that, when it was all said and done, Gregory had no doubt that the Showdown was only going to expand in the future.
“The foundation was laid as far as Carl having everything structured and organized,” Gregory said. “I can’t thank the volunteers enough for them coming out and spending their time out here for the kids and the community.
“And that’s what it’s all about.”