By Rick Palsgrove
Fans of the Canal Winchester Indians and Groveport Madison Cruisers came
together to continue their friendly rivalry and to help fund a good a cause.
The fan cheer sections of both schools – Canal Winchester’s TheTribeCW and Groveport Madison’s The Red Sea – met on Feb. 20 at Groveport Madison High Schools to play a basketball game to help the BrockStrong Foundation.
“The kids who regularly attend the basketball games came up with the roster. It was made up of seniors only,” said Groveport Madison Athletic Director Steve Petros. “The Cruiser and Indian fan sections have a Twitter account and they have fun going back and forth talking some good natured smack talk and came up with the idea for the game.We were glad to ask for donations at the game that will go to the BrockStrong Foundation. BrockStrong has showed up to some Cruiser events for random acts of kindness. We are glad to give back to a group of people who has a mission of kindness. We hosted the game, but Canal Winchester Athletic Director Pat Durbin approved the game and helped shape their roster.”
Petros said he agreed to the game because he thinks that neighboring districts should be able to get together and just have a fun event.
“That is what this was,” said Petros. “A good time was had by all. I was a little surprised by the crowd size. It was the size of a regular Tuesday night varsity basketball game. I don’t know if this is something we will do again, but I was glad we did it this year.”
When asked if there could be a rematch next year in Canal Winchester, Durbin said, “Absolutely!”
Like Petros, Durbin said the event was a positive thing for the Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison communities.
“A game like this is great for our two communities,” said Durbin. “Any time you have neighboring communities part of a friendly rivalry it’s a good thing for both locations. As long as we can compete with a mutual respect it’s awesome. It gives our student-athletes an opportunity to develop friendships that otherwise may not have occurred.”
Groveport Madison senior Eusebio Manglona, who is a student section leader for the Cruiser cheer section, The Red Sea, said, “We, as The Red Sea, thought it would be a good idea to play our rival Canal Winchester in a friendly game of basketball. We decided to play for charity. The BrockStrong foundation was chosen because Brock went to Canal Winchester and a lot of us knew him through baseball, so we thought it would be nice and it would bring us together by donating to the organization.”
Manglona said it is estimated the game raised about $350 for the BrockStrong Foundation.
“On behalf of The Red Sea, we want to thank everyone who came out and donated to make it a fun, memorable night for the seniors,” said Manglona. “During the game a fellow senior, Tyrus Slone, unfortunately was hurt and won’t be able to play his senior year of baseball, so if the community can keep him in their thoughts and prayers for a quick and healthy recovery it would be greatly appreciated.”
Manglona said the Cruiser seniors who coordinate student section activities for
The Red Sea, are himself, Jake Benline, Either Pacheco, Austin Gautier, Austin Evans, and Trey Mantle.
Groveport Madison parent Rita Manglona said, “To watch an amazing group of students get together and play a friendly game of basketball and request donations for a fundraiser that will help an organization continue to give to others, was absolutely heartwarming. BrockStrong Foundation is based out of Canal Winchester. We as a community are so proud of this group. It was the first ever Groveport vs. Canal student section game and I hope the upcoming classes continue this friendly game between these two schools.”
Petros said The Red Sea came away with a tight win over the Canal Winchester cheer section in the game.
Petros, who along with some Cruiser athletes officiated the game, said, “My takeaway is that I may never question an official again! Officiating is a tough job even in a good natured game. I think our athletes who officiated came away with a new found respect for the job officials do. It was a good natured game, but the kids came to win and got after each other. We wouldn’t want it any other way. The kids played hard and then shook hands after.”
Visit brockstrongfoundation.com for information on the BrockStrong Foundation.