Dodgers, Gaels to meet on basketball court

The Fort Dodge and St. Edmond basketball programs will join forces for a greater cause and temporarily revive a dormant rivalry in the process here Saturday at their inaugural Hall of Pride Challenge.

All four Dodger and Gael teams are involved in the event, which will not count officially in the record books. Scrimmages will begin at 7 p.m. tomorrow evening inside the Fort Dodge Senior High gym.

The girls junior varsity squads square off first, with the scrimmage lasting approximately 30 minutes. Varsity girls will follow, with JV boys and varsity boys concluding the festivities. Two full quarters of game time are planned for each segment.

Dodger and Gael cheerleaders will perform between the girls and boys contests at approximately 8 p.m.

The scrimmages have been arranged in conjunction with the Iowa Hall of Pride, which encourages communities to band together for volunteer service projects. In this instance, the proceeds raised will benefit select families in need as chosen by the schools.

”It’s obviously going to be fun and exciting for local basketball fans to see, but we all need to keep in mind that the idea is to come together and do something positive for those less fortunate,” FDSH athletic and activities director Matt Elsbecker said. ”I can’t emphasize that enough. This should be a way for us to promote our schools and promote our community the right way.

”We want to keep things in a proper perspective and make it enjoyable for the kids while seeing a common goal come to fruition.”

Senior High has selected the family of former FDCSD teachers Joe and Andrea Adams, whose infant son, Cooper, is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant at a later date. Money raised on Saturday will help with the Adams family’s medical expenses.

St. Edmond will donate its portion of the proceeds to local Drs. Lincoln and Kelli Wallace in honor of their daughter, Claire, a freshman at the school who is a cancer survivor.

”This isn’t about winning or losing – it’s about joining forces for a bigger picture,” SEHS athletic and activities director Joe Shanks said. ”We want the kids and the fans to get out, support the community on this holiday weekend, and have a good time.

”I know (the players) will have fun competing against each other. Of course there is naturally a lot of excitement and a buzz about doing something like this. This is a good thing and a positive event for our town. We hope to see a nice-sized crowd that will be fully supportive and appreciate what we’re trying to do.”

Fort Dodge and St. Edmond have never played each other on the basketball court during the regular season. The Dodgers and Gaels did square off in the postseason, though, with the last boys meeting coming in the 1972 district tournament. The most recent girls contest between the schools was in the 1978 sectional tourney.

Admission is $5 each for adults and students alike. Activity passes are not applicable for this event. Any additional donations on behalf of the families will be collected at the gym or accepted through the mail at the respective schools, which ”would obviously be greatly appreciated” according to both Elsbecker and Shanks.