State Stories


Illinois Coaches Association Joins Touchdowns Against Cancer

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High school football coaches and their teams across Illinois are joining the fight against childhood cancer this fall. The Illinois Coaches Association has joined Touchdowns Against Cancer as an official partner of the national program, hosted by MaxPreps and Pledge It, which empowers high school football teams to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® with every touchdown scored.

In last season’s inaugural program, high school teams across the country raised over $100,000 for St. Jude, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life threatening diseases. The Illinois Coaches Association has a goal of having at least 300 teams in the state participate in the 2017 program. High school football coaches can register their team today at

In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Touchdowns Against Cancer is aimed at unifying high school football teams across the country for a common cause: defeating childhood cancer. Fans can support their school by donating for every touchdown they score from September 14-30.

"The Illinois Coaches Association is proud to be an official partner of Touchdowns Against Cancer,” said John Elder, President of the Illinois Coaches Association. “As football coaches, our primary responsibility is to teach young men how to work together to accomplish a worthy goal, how to be selfless and how to be positive force for good in their communities.  Not only does this program help us do that, it provides a unique opportunity our players to make a positive impact to families affected by childhood cancer."

“Touchdowns Against Cancer makes every touchdown worth much more than six points on the scoreboard,” said Andy Beal, founder and president of MaxPreps.  “This is a chance for high school football to unite and show the power of high school sports to have an impact far beyond the playing field.  With Touchdowns Against Cancer coaches, players and their fans will help save the lives.”

“We’re extremely excited to welcome the Illinois Coaches Association to the Touchdowns Against Cancer family,” added Scott Shirley, Founder & CEO of Pledge It. “We believe in the power of sport for social good and look forward to supporting the teams in Illinois in their effort to make a positive impact in through this program.”

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent .St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

To learn more about the program, visit