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Lakeland to host benefit game

A local family rivalry will fight it out on the football field for a good cause.

Lakeland High School is hosting a “House Divided” benefit football game at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 on its athletic field. This rival game will take place between the Cavaliers and the Glen Allen Jaguars. Folks are encouraged to come out to watch a sibling rivalry while helping the schools.

Joe Jones, the head football coach for Lakeland High School, came up with the idea of a scrimmage game with his brother and head coach for Glen Allen High School, Perry Jones. Since Glen Allen is located near Richmond, the two schools never have an opportunity to play each other in district games or playoffs. The brothers want this game to be an opportunity to give back while allowing the community to come together again.

“Dealing with the pandemic and dealing with such an up and down past year, we’re just thankful for the people who have helped us and for the frontline workers,” said Joe Jones. “We want to do our part and give back as much as we can.”

Tickets for this game are $6. Jones is also asking for those who come to bring school supply donations, so this can double as a back-to-school drive.

Part of the proceeds of this game will go towards school supplies for the elementary schools in Suffolk. Jones plans to have the Lakeland High School football team pass out the collected supplies to the schools. Another part of the proceeds will go towards the football team’s equipment and other expenses.

The brothers want this game to be a thank you to those who have supported their careers and helped them get to where they are today.

“Me and my brother played all-star at Oscar Smith High School and now we’re both head coaches, and there’s a lot of people we are grateful for to get us to this point,” said Jones.

This game also comes in light of a different football season for Suffolk Public Schools and many schools across the country. The last football season was in the spring due to predicted COVID-19 numbers for the fall and winter. So, along with providing support for the schools, this game will also bring a bit of normalcy to a hopefully more normal school year.

“At this time, considering everything going on with Covid, it’s a good time to come together and celebrate all students and their extra-curricular activities,” said Aston Williams, assistant principal of Lakeland. “It’s great to have an opportunity to come together after being so isolated this past year.”