LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When you think of high-impact sports, football may top the list, but this November in the height of the playoffs, the greatest impact might be on the sidelines.
On the field, it’s playoff season for high school football, but there’s another competition this November just as, if not more, important for coaches.
“I remember him telling me over the phone. You hear the word cancer, and it’s a scary thought,” remembered Little Rock Catholic’s John Fogleman.
His father once fought a battle with prostate cancer and won. For the past three years, Little Rock Catholic High School has competed for a win off the field with other schools to fundraise for the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation.
But with three state titles, you could say, in a row, Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation Executive Director Chris Collier asked him this year to up the ante.
“It occurred to me, ‘Hey, what if we go invite/challenge some of your friends in the coaching rank to get involved in this and literally compete?” Collier said.
Other head coaches competing are Darrell Burnett of Hot Springs High, Jim Winthrow of Little Rock Hall, Brad Harris of Benton High, and Zak Clark of Searcy High School. The one who raises the most will get to take home the coveted trophy.
“It is a lot more friendly rivalry than what we would if Coach Fogleman and I were on the field,” Coach Brad Harris expressed.
“I don’t think winning is the deal. I think it’s just you should know that you are trying to do something that helps and makes a difference,” Coach Fogleman added.
According to the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, since 2014, prostate cancer diagnosis has gone up 3%, and late stage 3 or 4 diagnosis has gone up 5%. The last thing these men want to is punt the problem.
“The reality is no man should die from it if we catch it early, but we’ve got too many men dying from it,” Collier said.
All five coaches and other people raising funds can be found at ARProstateCancer.org. Anyone can donate to an individual or team online and every donation will stay in Arkansas for local treatment and preventative care expenses.