Brookfield rivals unite to battle childhood cancer


Alan Herzberg

Cheerleaders, Tirzah Sonderman (’20), and Ainsley Regner (’22) hold up a banner made by the cheer team for the football team to run through. Captains Alec Mejchar (’19), Chris Casey (’19), Drew Lescznski (’19) run through first. This was the first year the cheerleaders made a banner, but the cheerleaders hope to eventually make it a tradition.

Neha Ajjampore, Features Editor

The infamous rivalry between our very own Brookfield Central Lancers and the students of Elmbrook school district’s other high school, the Brookfield East Spartans, has long been upheld. Whether it be through sports, club activities, or academics, there is always a playful competition between the two schools. However, once a year, the Lancers and Spartans face off in a football game that ultimately combats a common enemy: childhood cancer.

Elmbrook’s sixth annual Gold Out game took place on Friday, September 28 on the BC football turf. The bleachers of both sides were packed with students, adults, and young children, all showing their support towards the cause by sporting gold-colored clothes and accessories. Appropriately held during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the purpose of the event was to raise awareness and money to tackle the illnesses that affect thousands of kids across the nation — including several students within the Elmbrook School District.

Maggie Conlon (‘20), who shared her personal story on dealing with cancer as a child in front of the crowds that evening, appreciates the involvement of her fellow students: “It was amazing to see my classmates and our rivals all wearing gold to support childhood cancer awareness.” Conlon also mentions that it is important to be mindful of how drastic the situation really is. Childhood cancer is the number one life-threatening disease of children in America, but only four percent of federal funding is allocated towards pediatric cancer research. To Conlon, this is clearly not enough to work towards a cure. “If we really want to find a cure, people have to spread childhood cancer awareness and help donate,” she asserts.

This year, BC band conductor, Mr. Jason Gillette, contacted the band teachers at Swanson Elementary School (Mr. Phil Rothschadl) and Wisconsin Hills Middle School (Mrs. Sarah Marman) to organize a huge halftime show. The result was a massive marching band of over 200 students ranging from fifth to twelfth graders, all wearing Gold Out shirts and standing in an array on the field playing “On Wisconsin” and the Brookfield Central school song.

The goal of this endeavor was to showcase school spirit and promote the good cause, as well as to introduce the younger students to the high school band experience. Pavan Yilayavilli (‘23), an eighth-grader in the WHMS band, remarks, “All the high schoolers were really nice and were very good leaders. I totally had a blast and [the game] met my expectation and more. The only problem was the cold!”

The enjoyment was no doubt felt by older students as well. To Anja Logan (‘20), the occasion was beneficial to all grade levels. “I think it was a really fun experience and we were able to connect with the middle schoolers and fifth graders…we should do this in the future because it is a great way for the high schoolers to get to know the younger band students,” she states. The performance was overall a big success, and it is likely that the combination of bands will become tradition for future Gold Out games.

The night ended with the BC securing a victory on the field, the final score 31-7 against East. But the real triumph (on which both the Lancers and the Spartans can agree) was the tremendous amount of childhood cancer awareness and money that was raised.

Alan Herberg
Decked out in gold, the student body cheers on the football team as Cole Nau (’19) waves the school flag. As a part of student section traditions, Jack Anderson (’19) did a pushup for every point BC had scored so far in the game after each touchdown.