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Pausing rivalry for hospitalized youth

Setting aside their rivalry for the Madison Bowl, Jets and Patriots football players visited patients at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children on Sept. 2. (Photo by Robby Parker)
Setting aside their rivalry for the Madison Bowl, Jets and Patriots football players visited patients at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children on Sept. 2. (Photo by Robby Parker)

MADISON – At the 50-yard line, they hit hard and tackle with feverish determination.

However, Jets and Patriots football players paused their hometown rivalry before they meet on the field for the Madison Bowl to visit patients at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children.

On Sept. 2, the football athletes from Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools “set aside their rivalry to unite in service to the community. Senior leaders from both teams visited young patients,” public relations manager John Peck said.

Ironically, one of the patients that the Jets and Patriots visited is a football player from Guntersville High School.

Head coaches Kevin Rose from Bob Jones and Wade Waldrop from James Clemens accompanied their players on the goodwill venture.

“The visit was in keeping with the teams’ annual ‘unity’ get-together before the big game. The Patriots play the Jets this Friday night, Sept. 4, at Madison City Schools Stadium,” Peck said.

The hospital visit reflects the school district’s increasing emphasis and promotion of service and giving back to the community, Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said.

In another angle of solidarity, approximately 400 members of the James Clemens and Bob Jones marching bands met for a drill and music rehearsal on Sept. 3. After practicing, the band members put aside their school allegiances to have a social gathering.

The bands, led by Keith Anderson and Leigh Thomas, will present a combined performance during halftime of the Madison Bowl.

Kickoff for the Madison Bowl will launch at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4 at Madison City School Stadium, 211 Celtic Drive. Special events are planned, including a fireworks exhibition.

Because of a large turnout for the game, police officers advise motorists to use caution in the stadium’s vicinity, especially on Madison Boulevard/Celtic Drive and Will Halsey Way/Hughes Road. Choosing an alternate route will be the best option, officers said.

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