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WKY football: Rivals on the field, allies in honor


The Crittenden County Rockets and the Caldwell County Tigers are known to be huge rivals in western Kentucky high school football. For many years, the match-ups between these teams have drawn packed stadiums with standing room only.This past Friday night was no different, but there was one thing that made this game different from the others.

At halftime, before the teams headed to their respective locker rooms to discuss strategies for the second half, players and coaches from both teams met in the center of the field and took a knee to participate in a special event. Caldwell County Head Coach David Barnes, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and his family were asked to come to the center of the field. There, surrounded by his own players, the Crittenden County Rockets presented Coach Barnes with an $8,500 check made payable to the National Parkinson’s Foundation in his honor. The Rockets had conducted their own fundraising efforts to honor the coach of their rivals.

Moved by this gesture, Rogers Group committed to add to that total $100 for every touchdown scored by the Rockets. The final donation was $300. At the end of the game, spectators saw another sign of unity as all players met once again on the field and prayed for Coach Barnes. Although the Rockets lost to the Tigers that night, I’m pretty sure everyone left as a winner.