TICONDEROGA Its no secret, Ticonderoga and Moriah are fierce rivals on the athletic field.
The two communities are putting that rivalry aside, though, to help a teacher and coach with ties to both towns.
Dayton Dedrick, a 1992 Ti High grad who is now a teacher and coach at Moriah Central, has Hodgkins lymphoma.
I used to feel like a man without a country, Dedrick joked. But now Ive got both communities pulling for me. Its like I have two hometowns.
Dedrick, age 33, has undergone chemotherapy treatment for his cancer. The disease came back, though, and hes now undergoing a second round of chemo. Once the growth of his cancer is stopped, hell be going to Boston for a stem-cell transplant.
Hopefully Ill be going to Boston in October, he said. After the surgery Ill have to stay there 100 days.
Dedrick is married. He and his wife, Megan, have two sons, Carter, age 5, and Hayden, 2.
Both school districts are rallying to assist the Dedrick family. Sunday, Sept. 16, there will be a chicken barbecue and bake sale at Linney Field in Mineville while youth football games are being played. The barbecue will begin at 12 noon, according to Don Tesar, the Moriah varsity football coach who is helping organize the benefit.
On Saturday, Sept. 29, there will be chicken barbecue and horseshoe tournament at 2 p.m. at the Putnam firehouse to raise money for the Dedricks. There will be music, raffles, a 50-50 drawing and horseshoes. Tickets are $7 for the meal and $10 for the meal and tournament. For information call Lisa Mars at 585-7420 or Martina Crank at 585-6816.
Sunday, Oct. 21, Eddies restaurant on the Hague Road will host a spaghetti dinner to assist the Dedrick family. Itll be held 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
And last weekend the Ticonderoga varsity football team raised money for the Dedricks. Team members asked for pledges for each yard they gained in their game against Tupper Lake. The Sentinels lost, 22-21, in overtime, but still felt good about their effort.
Were pretty proud of our boys to go out and do this for someone else, Ti coach Bob Sutphen said. A few of the players knew Dayton before, but a lot know him now. They know hes a good guy and they want to help.
Sutphen is a close friend of Dedrick. Both work summers as Lake George Park Commission marine patrol officers.
Ti football players are still collecting pledges, so the amount they raised is unknown.
People are amazingly generous, Sutphen said. We had people give us $50, $100. They just want to help.
People can still help, Sutphen said, by sending donations to Ticonderoga High School.
This is the second season Ti High football players have collected pledges for charity. Last year they collected money for Hurricane Katrina victims.
All the attention is humbling, Dedrick said.
Im really grateful for all the help, Dedrick said. People are working very hard to help out. It means a lot to me.