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5 hours and 30 minutes separate the rival soccer clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Every so often they play each other in what’s known as the “El Classico,” which is always one of the biggest soccer games in the world.

 

However, sometimes the best games, and the best stories, don’t involve brand deals, big names, and millions of fans.  Instead all they need are good teams, good people, and maybe some gold shoelaces.

 

Unlike the two professional teams, only 27 minutes separate Jonathan Alder and Beechcroft High School.  JA and Beechcroft have always had a fierce rivalry, sometimes even in win or go home situations. But, while the Jonathan Alder team looks ready to go in full gear, at Beechcroft it’s a different story.

 

The soccer program in Beechcroft receives very little financial support.  Players sometimes can’t afford basic equipment, like cleats and shin guards, and last year some of their players had to wear pinnies instead of actual jerseys, this was an obvious problem for their team. This is where the Schertzer brothers stepped in.

 

Senior Alex Schertzer and Sophomore Matt Schertzer both play for the Jonathan Alder Pioneers and they decided to do something about the problem at Beechcroft.  During the summer, the brothers created a GoFundMe to help buy Beechcroft some new equipment. They made the announcement to the team during a practice to give players the chance to contribute and spread the word about the account. So far, the brothers have amassed $3,252 in three months.  Beechcroft now has new balls, three sets of pinnies, cones with straps, two pairs of pugg goals, shin guards, home socks, away socks, white team shirts, yellow team shirts, embroidered jackets, and new home and away jerseys. With the leftover money from the fundraiser, Beechcroft decided to donate it towards Pediatric Cancer research.

 

When asked why they decided to create the GoFundMe, Matt Schertzer said, “Last year when we played them, the JV team had on pinnies as their jerseys and some of them didn’t even have cleats.  They used tennis shoes or indoor shoes instead.”

 

This year, the Beechcroft Cougars got to come out in full gear to play against the Pioneers in the “Lace up 4 Pediatric Cancer match,” on August 8th, where all proceeds were donated to research for pediatric cancer and all players wore gold laces to show support for the cause.  The Pioneers ended up winning the game 8-1, but, Alder fans got to see what a little generosity can do.

 

After the game, Alex Schertzer said, “It was awesome, just knowing that we helped a team become united by providing them with matching kits.”

Alex Schertzer (left) and his brother Matt, are holding up the new Beechcroft team shirts.

 

Senior Captain, Alex Schertzer, has always been known for his leadership and kindness. When asked about the fundraiser, his teammate Dominic Toler said,  “It’s cool knowing that we have kids on our team that are good kids, and enjoy helping others.”

 

We all know that good players can make a huge impact on the field, but the Schertzer brothers have shown that they can also make a huge impact in people’s lives.

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