ROCKINGHAM — Everyone in Richmond County knows about Richmond Senior football, but not everyone knows about the daily battles that are fought by some of the county’s residents.
So, coach Mike Castellano is doing his best to bridge that gap.
Along with players and coaches from the high school’s football team, Castellano is going to help support and bring awareness to issues that affect a couple of Raider fans — Skyler Macedo and Dan McInnis — this Saturday.
Macedo, an honorary member of the football team for this week’s game against South View, is an 8-year old girl who suffers from Chiari Malformation — a neurological disorder in which the brain descends out of the skull and puts pressure on the spine. Skyler’s mother, Jenni, organized a walk to fund research for Chiari which is taking place at Aberdeen Lake Park on Saturday, Sept. 17.
And a handful of Richmond football players will be there.
“We’re getting an opportunity to show her that what she goes through is far more important than whatever happens on the field,” Castellano said.
McInnis, a former Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy, has been fighting a multitude of health issues dating back almost two decades. The community has rallied around McInnis and will be holding an all-day softball tournament at East Rockingham Park on Saturday.
“He’s a great guy who has become a great friend of mine. He’s had a lot of health issues recently and we want to go support him,” Castellano added. “We’re going to have some guys out there chasing foul balls for him and supporting the cause.”
With the football team receiving so much love and support from individuals like Macedo and McInnis, Castellano wants his guys to understand that reciprocating that energy is “what life is all about.”
“I think it’s exremely important,” Castellano explained. “This is about life and death and people that suffer from disorders and illnesses and trying to give them the support they need.”
Participation for Saturday’s walk is free. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the walk starts at noon. For more information, email [email protected] or visit the “Conquer Chiari Walk Across America Aberdeen, NC” event page on Facebook.
As for Saturday’s softball tournament, all proceeds will go directly to the McInnis family. The event is free and open to the public, but there will be concessions, T-shirts, raffle tickets, half-and-half tickets, a bounce house and face painting. The action will kick off at 9 a.m.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
Skyler Macedo, left, fist bumps Richmond Senior assistant coach Brad Denson during Thursday’s practice. Macedo, who is battling Chiari Malformation, will be the team’s honorary member for its home game against South View on Friday, Sept. 16.