The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: Rousing Success

  • Roper believes Bulldogs will do Cure For Cancer jersey game again
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  • There's not a lot Jason Roper would change about this past Friday night.
    Aside from unpleasant weather conditions, the Harrisburg High School football coach felt his Cure For Cancer game against West Frankfort, where game worn jerseys had the names of cancer survivor and victims names on the back was a rousing success.
    In all, Roper said proceeds extended 2,500 dollars and expects all the money to be given locally.
    "I think it went really well," Roper said Monday. "It was very touching for a lot people and very honoring for those who fought cancer and for those who lost their battle.
    It was good for our community and good for our kids to be a part of it, even though the weather was not all that great, I still feel like we had a good crowd and hopefully its something we can continue to do."
    Roper's original expectations were to have 104 jerseys made to be worn by all three levels of football players. Numbers exceeded that to the point where Roper had to have 117 jerseys made up. Those ended up being worn by cheerleaders and members of the coaching staff.
    Roper is confident even more jerseys could have been bought and made and said after an initial trial run, he can envision doing more in years to come.
    "We're going to give that back to a cancer fund in some form or fashion," he said. "We have a lot of people are battling cancer and it's hard to pick out one single person and leave someone out. We don't want to do that. I think the Jerry Kill Cancer Fund excites me because I'm pretty sure that money stays here locally."
    However, Roper is quick to point out, raising the money had little to do with the overall message.
    "It was more about the opportunity to honor those in our community who have battled cancer and won the fight or have it in reemission or have lost someone to the disease, I think was a good way to honor those people.
    "It's a situation where the more people we can honor, the better. We had to cover the cost of the jersey. Regardless of how much money we raised, we're not doing this to get into the pockets of community members, but to honor those who have battled and fought this disease."
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