YORK — Adding excitement and anticipation to Friday’s York-Clover basketball showdown in Cougar Country will be the “Playing for the Cure” theme to raise funds to fight cancer.
If the crowd reaches last year’s numbers, and organizers believe it will, there will be more than 2,000 fans in York Comprehensive High School’s main gym Friday night.
The action begins with Paula Blackwell’s Lady Cougars pitted against Sherer Hopkins’ defending region champion Lady Blue Eagles at 6:30 p.m.
The second game of the double-header action will showcase coach Bailey Jackson’s Blue Eagles and coach Larry Dixon’s Cougars at 8 p.m.
Blackwell — who spearheads the organizational efforts to generate funds to battle the dreaded disease — said proceeds from Friday’s fundraiser will be earmarked for local use.
“This year, we are going to donate profits raised from the shirts and donations at the door to the York and Clover high schools to help a student with cancer or the family or families of a student at the schools,” said Blackwell. “We want the money to go directly back into the two communities to help offset the cost of fighting cancer.”
The teams will wear T-shirts with the cure message to warm up and fans can purchase the shirts at the door for $10.
“In addition to the purchase of T-Shirts, York and Clover fans can make donations at the door Friday night,” Blackwell said. “There will be separate containers for fans from each school to donate.
“We will announce which school donated the most during halftime of the boys’ game.”
Blackwell said the women’s T-shirts will include the familiar theme “Playing for the Cure,” while the men’s T-shirts will say, “Real Men Wear Pink.”
Sophomore Lady Cougar mainstays Aubrey Wood and Carrie Lee Lancaster encourage area fans to be supportive of Friday’s “Pink Out” and fundraising efforts.
“It’s good to donate money in honor and memory of cancer victims who lost their lives and for those currently fighting the disease,” said Wood. “You don’t have to give much. Every little bit helps.”
Lancaster agreed. “We look forward to playing for the cure. It is for a very worthy cause,” she said.
Blackwell hopes fans from both communities will respond to Friday night’s much-anticipated fundraiser.
“The York-Clover rivalry is an ideal event to raise funds to fight cancer,” said the YCHS coach. “It draws the biggest crowd of the year and generates a lot of school and community pride.”