Coaches vs. Cancer event brings together rival high schools
HARTFORD (WITI) -- It's the last Friday night of the High School football regular season -- the playoffs kick off next week.
It was a big game between the arch rivals of the Wisconsin Little 10 -- the Hartford Orioles, and the Slinger Owls.
The Orioles, and the Owls are competitors on the field, but they come together for something very special off of it -- the Coaches vs. Cancer event.
"This is an event that was originated by our Coach Kevin Wilkenson. He unfortunately passed away four years ago, but he initiated this event with hopes it would carry on and raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Slinger has been very fortunate to have a traveling trophy in their trophy case for the past three years. We're hoping to take it home again tonight, but it's not about who gets the trophy, it's about raising funds for the American Cancer Society," said Deb Martola, Coaches vs. Cancer Organizer.
"This is an awesome event to bring the two communities together in a situation where cancer has effected probably every single person in the stadium tonight. And for me, my dad had died of cancer, colon cancer as well. Kevin brought this to my attention it was very easy to want to do this with them," said Jill Stober, Hartford Athletics Director.
"I'll never forget the hug after the game to me, that meant a lot and it was just a month and a half later that he lost his battle with cancer. It sticks with me, you know, not so much the win but just the joy he had with that and just knowing that's what he wanted," said Slinger's Head Coach, Bill Jacklin.
"You know this is a football game and there's some things, believe it or not, even for someone who's been at it as long as I have there's thing bigger than this and at the time it's very important but when it's all said and done there's some things bigger than this," said Tom Noennig, Hartford Head Coach.
Even with the t-shirts, and being rivalries, the Orioles of Hartford with their orange, and the Slinger Owls in red -- in the end they have come together in an amazing way to help fight cancer.