A Rival To The Rescue

By Staff

Athletic Management, 16.6, October/November 2004, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/am/am1606/wurivalrescue.htm

In high school football, a match-up with a heated rival can make or break a season. So when Mike Bass, Head Football Coach at Port Byron (N.Y.) High School heard that rival school Cato-Meridian would be losing its athletics program because of budget cuts, he decided to offer his help.

This summer, Bass organized a weekend-long softball tournament that raised $3,000, all of which went to the Cato-Meridian Sports Boosters Club. Bassís efforts contributed to the many other fundraising endeavors facilitated by the Cato-Meridian boosters, which eventually raised the $75,000 needed to restore all of the schoolís fall varsity sports.

By helping to save Cato-Meridianís season, Bass acknowledges that he had some of his own motives in mind, such as filling out his teamís schedule. But more importantly, he says, his student-athletes learned an important lesson.

"Some kids initially may have been a little confused as to why we were helping out our chief rival, but a lot of them volunteered, and they came away with a better understanding of what it means to help somebody out," says Bass. "Obviously rivalries like ours mean too much to both communities to let them slip away."