With the ongoing debate about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem dividing much of the country, there is a bit of good news for patriotic-minded residents in the Brooklyn-Irish Hills area who happen to love football.
Onsted and Columbia Central will square off on the field for their annual rivalry Friday night, and the game will be played in honor of area veterans. Onsted coach Dan Terryberry, whose father is a Vietnam War veteran, said the idea originally had nothing to do with the ongoing national debate, but admits that the timing turned out to be very good.
“We started thinking about it seriously last spring,” said the coach. He noted that similar games have been popular elsewhere in the state.
The game will feature a silent auction for Onsted’s special jerseys, and officials want to know the names of veterans living in both the Columbia and Onsted school’s footprint to be announced before the game as a tribute. The veterans need not be present to be honored. Names can be emailed to Coach Terryberry email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from the silent auction will go towards the Wounded Warrior Project.
Terryberry noted that he is working with Columbia Central officials, and would like to see this become an annual event. Before the game both teams will hold a flag, and a color guard from the Durkee-Seager Unit #550 American Legion Post in Onsted will present the colors.
“We know this is just a high school football game, and while it means a lot to the kids and the community, it is nothing next to the sacrifices people made so we can play,” said the coach.
The game will be held Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.