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Crookston High School hockey teams raise more than $14K for Cancer Crusaders

The winning team would get priority use of the main skating rink for two weeks, and the losing team would have to clean the other’s locker room.

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Jackson Demarais, a player on the Crookston boys hockey team, holds a sign in honor of his mother and grandmother. The hockey teams in Crookston recently raised money for the Northwest Minnesota Cancer Crusaders. (photo provided by Josh Hardy)
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CROOKSTON, Minn. — The Crookston Pirates’ boys and girls hockey teams have turned their recent games into a chance to make a difference for those in northwest Minnesota.

The teams joined with Minnesota Hockey Fights Cancer to raise more than $14,000 for the Northwest Minnesota Cancer Crusaders Jan. 20-21. The Crusaders’ mission is to support people with cancer by providing travel funds for doctor appointments and treatments. Josh Hardy, the boys’ hockey team coach, said the team wanted to raise money for the Crusaders because of the organization’s connection to the local community.

“We looked at a bunch of different organizations to donate the money to, but wanted to do something local that was going to help people here right in Crookston and northwest Minnesota,” he said.

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Educated in the field of occupational therapy at UND, Metzger served as activities director for seven years and administrator for St. Anne’s for 44 years.

Hardy and Emily Meyer, the girls’ coach, decided to entice their athletes with a competition as they prepared for the weekend games. The challenge was to raise more money than the other team. The winning team would get priority use of the main skating rink for two weeks, and the losing team would have to clean the other’s locker room.

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Joslyn Wallace, a member on the Crookston girls hockey team, holds a sign in honor of her father. The Crookston hockey teams recently raised money for the Northwest Minnesota Cancer Crusaders. (photo provided by Josh Hardy)<br/><br/>

The competition, though it fueled both teams’ excitement for the weekend games, wasn’t as important as the desire to help those in need. According to Hardy, multiple students on the two teams had lost family members to cancer.

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On Friday, Jan. 20, the girls team took on Gentry Academy, and on the following day the boys team was up against Little Falls. In total, the Crookston Pirates raised just over $14,000 for the Northwest Minnesota Cancer Crusaders. As for the competition, the girls team won by about $2,000. Hardy, who originally hoped to raise $2,000 in total between the two teams, was more than happy about this result.

“As a coach you (have) got wins and losses and things like that, but the most important thing is that we’re developing young men and women that are going to be members of our community going forward,” he said.

Hardy spoke on this more in a recent Facebook post: “My hope is that players on both teams have recognized the importance of giving back to others and can continue to do so as they grow up and leave Crookston and move on to their next stage of life after hockey. While the money is amazing, this is the most important thing to me as a coach!”

Otto is a recent University of North Dakota graduate and intern at the Herald.
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