EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — East Grand Rapids and Forest Hills Northern are teaming up for a very special event Friday night at East Grand Rapids High School.
It’s a Coaches vs. Cancer doubleheader that will also include a night of champions celebration.
Longtime East Grand Rapids middle school teacher Matt Fouch is battling colon cancer. His wife, Jill, is also a teacher in the district.
They have three children, Jake, Maddie and Zeke. Matt’s brother, David, is a teacher at Forest Hills Northern High School.
“He’s (Matt) just a great person and has touched a lot of lives here,” East Grand Rapids athletic director Tim Johnston said.
While this is not a fundraiser for the family, the school is asking if you want to donate, do it in the form a gift card.
“That can be as simple as a $5 Starbucks or Biggby card,” Johnston said. “They’re (Fouch family) running pretty ragged with all the things they have to do. If you can help with a gift card, it’d be wonderful to be able to do that.”
The boys and girls varsity basketball teams will wear special jerseys, sponsored by Tony Beachler and Farm Bureau Insurance.
The girls game will tip-off at 6 p.m. and the boys game will follow.
However, in between games, the schools will recognize the state champions each school had from the fall sports season.
“When you take two schools that are just miles apart from each other and look at five state championships and one individual champion that’s a lot of success,” Johnston said. “Why not instead of celebrating your own success, share it within the communities? Our kids, our parents they know each other. They dine together. They enjoy each other.”
The Forest Hills Northern Huskies won three state championships in the fall with the boys soccer team, boys tennis team and girls golf team all claiming titles.
The East Grand Rapids Pioneers had two state titles with both the girls cross-country and swim teams earning the state’s top prize.
Finally, the Pioneers’ Evan Bishop claimed the boys individual cross-country state title too.
“Let’s make this a celebration for these two schools. Let’s brings some awareness to the American Cancer Society. Let’s see if there’s some things we can do for Team Fouch,” Johnston said. “It’ll be intense for 32 minutes of girls basketball and another 32 when the boys take the floor, but in that 64 minutes of intense basketball, there’s things bigger than the basketball game.”