NASHUA, Iowa – Friday night was ‘Coaches vs. Cancer’ night for the Top of Iowa Conference. Let’s face it – you or someone you know has been affected by this ugly disease. Nashua-Plainfield recently lost a student-athlete to cancer, and on Friday night, Nashua-Plainfield and Osage joined forces to be ‘Caleb Strong.’
“Caleb was a senior student that we lost a couple weeks ago after a battle he had with leukemia,” said Nashua-Plainfield High School Athletic Director, Josh Smith, in reference to a devoted Husky athlete.
“Caleb was out first male cheerleader that we had at Nashua so he was part of a state championship cheerleading squad. He was also a football player before he was a cheerleader, this year he was out for cross country in the fall, he was a big track and field athlete for us, and he was also a baseball player, too.”
The Top of Iowa Conference is one of the only conferences in the country in which every school raises money for the American Cancer Society on a designated night.
“Last year, I think we raised around $30,000 as an entire conference,” said Smith.
So it only seemed appropriate for Osage and Nashua to join forces to battle cancer. Leading the charge was Nashua native and former Osage volleyball coach, Andie Olson.
“Andie Olson reached out to me about selling shirts for Osage – our Caleb Strong shirts that we have. They sold 75 over there as a way to raise money and bring awareness,” said Smith.
Smith says it’s a great reminder to everyone that there is more to life than just sports.
“It’s always appreciated that another school can reach out and we can obviously see that sports for us are pretty secondary when something like this happens.”
Hoping that the money raised will someday prevent another community from going through the same thing.
“He and his family pretty much bleed Nashua-Plainfield so it’s a big loss for our school – it’s a big loss for our community.”