Friday, December 30, 2011

Indoor football game to benefit Dryer family

The Pittsburgh Sabres, a founding member of the Western Pennsylvania Indoor Football League and a recent addition to the Gridiron Developmental Football League, offers an outlet for those seeking to play competitive football and an opportunity to be noticed by franchises such as the Pittsburgh Power.

One of the Sabres' co-owners and team captain is Adam Henderson, a Trinity High School graduate who played a key role in organizing the Hillers roster for the highly successful Trinity-Washington Alumni Football USA game which took place last July.

Henderson's team recently played a game to benefit Lower Burrell police officer Derek Kotecki, an 18-year veteran of the Lower Burrell police force who was shot and killed Oct. 12 trying to arrest a fugitive.

"We had just got done playing that game when I woke up Monday (Dec. 19) and heard about the gutless tragedy Sunday night," Henderson said.

East Washington police officer John Dryer, also a veterinarian, was fatally shot during a traffic stop along Interstate 70.

Henderson, who shares ownership of the Sabres with Josh Myers, immediately began putting together a second memorial game.

"The idea hit me right away," Henderson said. "We received a lot of positive feedback. We created an invitation on Facebook and invited about 4,100 people."

The Pittsburgh Sabres will play defending WPIFL champion AK Valley Hurricanes tonight at Southpointe Fieldhouse, which is located just off Interstate 79. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. Admission is $5 and all proceeds benefit Dryer's family. Memorial T-shirts can also be purchased at the game.

At least three members of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Keenan Lewis and special teams ace Arnez Battle - are scheduled to appear. Henderson is hoping a few more Steelers show up since Dryer's son, Benjamin, is a die-hard Steelers fan.

Benjamin Dryer will join Henderson on the field for the coin toss and serve as an honorary captain. Members of the Sabres will sign a game ball for Dryer, who has autism, and Henderson plans on having the Steelers in attendance sign a game ball for officer's son as well.

"I saw Ben at the funeral and, of course, he's crying. When I talked to him, I let him know some Steelers were coming to the game," Henderson said. "His face lit up and he started talking about the Steelers."

For more information, visit the WPIFL website or the Pittsburgh Sabres page.

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