The Ross-Badin prep football rivalry is ongoing, and so is the fundraising effort between the two programs.
Butler County’s two Ram squads will open the 2018 season at Ross on Aug. 24, but not before getting together at Big Buls Roadhouse in Ross Township on Saturday.
The event is the Rams’ Community Kickoff Rally, with all proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital Psychiatry Division and its “Surviving the Teens/Suicide Prevention Program.”
PREP FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEWS
“I think both communities realize it’s going to a good cause,” Badin coach Nick Yordy said. “In light of some of the things that happened in Ross within the past year, we agreed this would be a pretty good idea. I think it’s a good way to start the season.”
In 2017, the two programs raised more than $1,000 that went to the UC Health West Chester Hospital to help with a recovery room in the Oncology Division.
“Last year my sister-in-law passed at the age of 44 of metastatic colon cancer, so that’s how we came up with the idea,” said Ross coach Kenyon Commins, whose wife Monica is the director of pharmacy services at the hospital. “There’s a nice basket there, and people can go in and get snacks and stuff. It’s a good thing.”
Big Buls and the Hiler Company Ltd. are donating the food for this year’s event, which starts at noon, and Express Graphics is donating signs.
Cost is $10 per person, and children 10 and under are free. There is no specific agenda for the day. It’s just an opportunity for both teams and their fans to get together, have some food and raise money for a good cause.
“Every single dollar will be donated,” Kenyon Commins said. “It’ll be half maroon and gold and half green and white, and it’s just everybody intermingling. It’s great for the kids to see that there’s a bigger purpose to what we do.”
Badin defeated Ross 36-6 last year in the schools’ first meeting since 2010. This season’s opener will be played at Robinson Field in Ross Township.
“There was a lot of angst getting these guys back together, so Nick and I really thought we needed some community stuff to kind of show the solidarity of the community,” Commins said. “This is a rivalry that takes me back to the private vs. public thing when I was a kid in Mount Healthy playing Roger Bacon.
“We obviously need to hold up our end of the deal football-wise a little better. I hear quite often from the David Lanes in the basketball world and the Jason Rettingers in the baseball world that beat Badin. Their backs are getting a little sore from carrying me, so we’re going to give it all we’ve got this year.”
Yordy, who grew up in Ross, likes the rivalry as well.
“It’s good for high school sports, good for our community,” he said. “We had a great crowd last year. Hamilton High was packed, and I think we’re going to keep a big crowd coming for years to come. What it all comes down to is a bunch of kids playing a great game, and we just want to promote that.”