The Arcadia and Vanlu teams held a charity match to support Corey-Rawson head coach Ricky Francis, whose husband Dominic was killed in the line of duty in March.
WANNEL, Ohio – A typical high school softball game in the middle of the week was something much bigger.
A match took place between Vanlu and Arcadia in memory of the deceased hero Dominique Francis who was killed while serving in the community.
“I just think it shows that it’s more than a game. It’s something we instill in our girls every year. It goes beyond victories and defeats. It’s one example of that,” said Arcadia head coach David Spryjan.
Teams abandoned their typical red colors on green and yellow T-shirts and socks to honor Corey Rawson, the school district where Dominic Francis worked as a teacher, bus driver and coach.
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Arcadia head coach Dave Spridge has developed the idea of holding a benefit game in honor of Francis.
Dominic’s wife Francis Ricky is the head coach of Cory-Rawson, and Dominic will help. Spryjon says the coaches at the conference are a close-knit group ready to help those in need.
“We are very close, the coaching fraternity is here. Vanlu and we are rivals. We are small schools like Corey Rawson and we wanted to see how we can bring the family back,” Spryjon said.
Spryjon turned to coach Vanlo Taylor Klopfer with the idea, and it was on board from the start.
“Because we are all small towns, we like to stick together and protect each other when something happens,” Klopfer said. “It’s about loving the game and loving each other as much as your back, not just softball.”
It’s a personal mission for junior short stop Emily Rank, who knows what it’s like to have a family in law enforcement. Rank’s father is the deputy sheriff of Hancock County.
“We wanted to represent law enforcement and how much they put at stake for their work,” Rank said. “With the situation that happened, just show how much they actually spread and risk for us every day.”
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At the end of the day, the group raised $ 1,500 for the Francis family.
However, this is not the only benefit for the Francis family. On Friday, May 6, c Toledo Police Department Hockey Team goes to Cube Ice Arena in Findlay to face FOP 109 Warthogs.
Dropping the puck is scheduled 7 p.m..