CEDAR LAKE – It’s been 41 years since the Hanover Central Wildcats have played a varsity football season, but that all changes in 2014. After a four decade absence, the growing community of Cedar Lake will have a football team all their own on Friday nights.
While there is lots of excitement around town about the return of the Wildcats, the harsh reality is that enthusiasm alone isn’t going to get the team ready to play under the lights. It not only takes community support and hard work from administrators and student-athletes to get a program off the ground, it takes money, and this is where Region football fans can help support Hanover Central in their return to varsity football.
The Wildcats are holding the NWI Field of Dreams project to raise money for the 2014 season and are seeking donations.
“The money raised will go directly back into the program in terms of equipment purchases for players, football specific supplies, and things that are needed to keep a program alive,” Hanover Central Athletic Director Kevin Bachinski said.
Hanover Central isn’t alone in this effort however as the Art Hill Auto Group in Merrillville has offered to match a $5,000 fundraiser with a $5,000 donation of their own.
“The manager of Art Hill lives in Cedar Lake and his kids went to Hanover Central,” Bachinski said. “He wanted to help with providing for the football program and saw this as a way to help raise funds.”
The ability to pay for new equipment and all of the necessities that come with starting a new program has been a key concern since the initial planning stages a few years ago.
“When I was approached about starting a football program, the first question everyone asked was, ‘How are we going to pay for all of this?’”, Wildcat coach Robert Harrison said. “This has been the biggest obstacle moving forward. I want to ensure success at Hanover Central, and it would be impossible without events like this.”
The team has held fundraisers before and have received helped from Hanover Central Pop Warner, parents and members of the community, but the NWI Field of Dreams project is open to football fans everywhere.
“The goal is to bring awareness to new football program, the costs associated with starting a new program, and the funding needed to continue it,” Bachinski said. “The hope is that people can see the importance of it and would like to contribute to its success.”
“Jeff Brooks, the previous A.D., and Kevin Bachinski have been a huge part in this whole process,” Harrison said. “I am very thankful for Art Hill to step forward and help put on a campaign to show support.”
For more information and to donate to the NWI Field of Dreams project, log on to https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/cg03/nwi-field-of-dreams.
To learn more about Hanover Central football, click here: http://www.hanover.k12.in.us/Page/1596