Benilde Football Players are Training to Fight Cancer

Student athlete Clyde Sellke, artists David Witt and Brent Schoonover, and Mark Ritter, T-shirt designer and printer.

After two years of successful fundraising for the Benilde-St. Margaret’s football team, the Shirt program will donate 100 percent of this year’s proceeds to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund and the Tackle Cancer program. The senior Knights spent their freshman year under the instruction of coach Randy Shaver himself, a KARE-11 news anchor and a Hodgkin Disease survivor. Three of the players have parents currently battling cancer. The decision was easy.

The team captains brainstormed to come up with the perfect theme to fit their team and their charity, and chose “Bigger. Faster. Stronger.” The encouraging phrase is printed on each of the red T-shirts featuring a comic-inspired knight carrying a football.

“It was so neat that everyone jumped at the opportunity to collaborate,” says Adam Sellke, whose son Clyde was chosen by the Benilde-St. Margaret’s art department chair to create a design for the shirt, with Chux Printing and two local comic book illustrators, Brent Schoonover and David Witt.

The shirts were sold for $20 at all Benilde-St. Margaret’s home games, in the school spirit shop and even out of team captain Eric Wilson’s pickup truck after school hours. “We’re hoping to blow through last year’s sale,” which raised more than $2,000 for the football program, says Sellke.

The first home game of the season included a red-out, encouraging fans to unite to show support for their team and those in their community battling cancer. During halftime of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Park Center game on October 7, a check was presented to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.

Raising money for a good cause has given the students a sense of responsibility, Sellke explains; they want to live up to the expectations of their community while giving back to it.