SOUTH BEND — Some feisty youth and their dads met face to face in a challenging flag football game on Father’s Day, June 17. The youthful Crewsaders played the Gerital Giants in a hard fought game that left a few battle wounds, but the football players enjoyed the day. The game ended in a tie.
The match, played in Arlotta Stadium on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, was a fundraiser for the St. Augustine Youth Ministry.
The game not only raised funds for the St. Augustine Youth Ministry, but helped them raise awareness of the dangers of sickle cell anemia, which primarily afflicts African Americans.
The team honored Alex “Ray” Gill who was unable to play this year by loaning his jersey to another player to wear.
There was also a blood drive during which blood donations to Group No. 1001 were honored by the South Bend Medical Foundation with a donation of $5 back to the St. Augustine Youth Ministry.
One of the highlights of the game was the “Monty play,” which allowed longtime player Monty Huddleston to make a touchdown.
“Monty took it very serious and ran his heart out,” said Steve Filbert, who played on the fathers’ team. “It was the greatest moment ever because every player playing their position tried to catch him, but they couldn’t, and Monty ran his heart out.”
Trajon Wright, a member of the youth team, said of the match, “What I like was the men were tough opponents, but we were not afraid and played them hard.” He added, “My brother KyShawn and I had a chance to play together. We do everything together and this game was really fun.”
Another youth player, Jamar Taylor, said, “The best part of the game for me was getting to play. …Because the game ended in a tie nobody could boast who was the best or say they won. But the best part of day was seeing everyone who came out to support us. That made me feel so good.”
Holy Cross Father Leonard Collins, pastor of St. Augustine Church, sat along the sidelines in case anyone was in need of a blessing. “These players put in a lot of practice in preparation for the game,” Father Collins said. “Not only did the practices prepare them to play, it gave them a chance for fellowship. Fellowship is very much a part of St. Augustine, and it was a great day for all in attendance.”
The St. Augustine youth are still taking donations to reach their target goal of $1,000. Send contributions to St. Augustine Youth Ministry, P.O. Box 3198, South Bend, IN 46619-0198. For information contact Father Collins at (574) 234-7082, or Deacon Mel Tardy, St. Augustine Youth Minister, at (574) 707-1231.
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