WHEELING - The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming to town.
The Ohio County Relay For Life's 5th Annual Fundraiser with the Pittsburgh Steelers ''Footballers'' basketball team will take place Saturday night at Wheeling Park High School.
The game, which features members of the Steelers facing off against an Ohio County team that is loaded with former star players and local dignitaries, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., and is the third in a tripleheader that also showcases Wheeling Park seniors against faculty (5 p.m.), and the Future Park Basketball Stars exhibition game (6 p.m.).
Photo by Tony Viola/Participating in the Ohio County Relay for Life’s 5th Annual Fundraiser with the Pittsburgh Steelers “Footballers” basketball team are, front from left, Shaun Black, Nate Fluharty and Shawn Rine. Back row are Bernie Dolan, Dr. Bill Mercer, Michael Jebbia, Bill Seabright and Dwaine Rodgers.
All proceeds benefit Ohio County Relay for Life, which is the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society.
Tickets are $7 each and can be purchased at Wheeling Park High School, Mountain River Physical Therapy and Spic 'n Span Cleaners on National Road.
The Ohio County team, coached by Wheeling Park basketball coach Michael Jebbia, holds a 3-1 record against the Steelers.
''It's always a good, hard-played game,'' said Bill Seabright, a member of the Ohio County team. ''The Steelers don't like to lose, but we've beat them three out of the four times. Everyone always has a good time.''
The Steelers, who have not released a roster for the game, have been represented by Antonio Brown and Charlie Batch among others in the previous games.
Those playing for the local team include Dr. William Mercer of Wheeling Hospital, Ohio County Schools Assistant Superintendent Bernie Dolan, WTRF's Nate Fluharty, Wheeling Newspapers Sports Editor Shawn Rine, former Wheeling Park basketball players Shaun Black and D'Jhae Jackson and ex-Wheeling Jesuit standout Maqsood Harrington.
The honorary referee for the event will be Michael Carroll, the creator of Michael's Meanies.
Carroll was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2003, and, after three years of treatment, was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Grade IV Brain Tumor due to the radiation from the treatments last year.
The Steelers will toss Michael's Meanies into the crowd, which are being donated by Eastern States Packaging, Inc, during the festivities.
''When you see how hard Michael Carroll has worked, I tell you that youngster is amazing,'' Seabright said. ''In fact, he's my hero. I'm 76 years old and Michael's my hero. Absolutely.''
The game is once again being organized by three Relay Teams from Ohio County: ''A Full House,'' ''Cheaper by the Dozen,'' and the American Cancer Youth Board from Wheeling Park High School, with assistance provided by Wheeling Park High School and the Ohio County Board of Education.
''Ohio County American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a very powerful, strong organization,'' Wheeling Park Athletics Director Dwaine Rodgers said. ''They're constantly involved in doing these things. It's really amazing.
''This is just one thing they do. They're very involved with Michael's Minnies. They established a lot of those things. It's all very, very nice. They've also established a Cancer Society club here at the high school.''
A 50/50 raffle will be held on game night, along with raffles for Steelers baskets, an autographed Steelers football, as well as other gift baskets. In addition, there will be a bake sale and other Steelers items for sale. During halftime, fans will have an opportunity to get autographs from the Steelers players.
''They have a group of people that work really hard to keep this going,'' Seabright said of the Ohio County Relay for Life. ''We try to do our fair share to help raise money so maybe one of these days they can come up with a cure. The more money we raise, the more research they can do. We cured Polio 50 years ago. Maybe not in my lifetime, but in these kid's lifetime, they can find a cure.''
For additional game information, please call 304-281-0077.