Cathedral to host military appreciation game

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 4, 2014

While many people enjoy football on Friday nights, Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing and his Green Wave want to remind people why they are able to enjoy that freedom.

Cathedral will bring that reason to the forefront Friday when they take the field against Mount Olive in their third military appreciation game.

“It is fun to have,” Rushing said. “You can tell the kids what it is for and to be able to play in honor of someone, it means more.”

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The Green Wave will be sporting their camouflage jerseys and will host special honoree retired U.S. Army Ranger Capt. Chad Fleming. Fleming has been deployed overseas six times and has been wounded in combat three times.

“Over the course of the last few months, we’ve been able to secure him as our honoree, and I’m glad we did,” Rushing said.

Although Fleming had sustained injuries, he still competed in events that raise money for veterans, including 5k runs, triathlons, a 360-mile bike ride and even ran in the New York City marathon.

“I hope this makes the kids more aware of what the event really is for,” Rushing said. “Hopefully, they realize how lucky they are to live in a country like this and the sacrifices the men and women make.”

Rushing said he hopes to have the game ball flown in by helicopter if the weather is nice enough.

When the Green Wave (9-1) take the field, it will be a tough test against a young Mount Olive (2-7) team that has historically been one of the best small programs in the state.

“I saw some McNair’s and Duckworth’s on that roster,” Rushing said. “They are a really scrappy young team, really good defensively. They are going to be back in a few years.”

Cathedral locked up a district championship last week and Rushing hopes his team will continue to play the way they have recently as the playoffs approach.

“The last three or four weeks we’ve been stressing to them to play our best ball,” he said. “We want to keep improving on playing well early, and hopefully, we can get on a roll here.”

It will also be senior recognition night for the Green Wave who have nine seniors on this year’s team.