State Stories

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Chicago Bears to Host NFL Crucial Catch Event at Leonard Bowl

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The Chicago Bears announced that they will hold their first-ever Crucial Catch event at a high school football game when they head to Springfield on Friday, September 21 for the ninth annual Leonard Bowl. Crucial Catch is a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the NFL to bring awareness to early detection and treatment of cancer through community outreach and education.

The game between host Sacred Heart-Griffin and visiting Rochester High School will kickoff at 7 p.m. The Leonard Bowl is a rivalry matchup between Ken Leonard (above left), who is the head coach of Sacred Heart-Griffin, and his son Derek Leonard (above right), who is the head coach of Rochester High School. Both teams are Central State Eight Conference schools. The Leonard’s have combined for 12 IHSA football state championships, with Ken guiding the Cyclones to five titles and the Rockets claiming seven under Derek, including five straight from 2010-2014.

Last December, Ken and Derek lost their wife/mother to breast cancer. In honor of Liz Leonard, the Bears will hand out pink rally towels and pins, host Mini Monster Clinics brought to you by Advocate Health Care, have appearances by Staley Da Bear and the Chicago Bears Drumline and offer a variety of other activities.