Baseball: Kaneland, Batavia meet on ‘Pack the Park’ night
Updated: May 17, 2012 7:50PM
Baseball teams from Kaneland and Batavia hope to “Pack the Park” Friday night when seniors from both programs will be honored in a joint ceremony before their game at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, home of the Kane County Cougars.
“We do a joint senior night for both schools and try to raise money for a worthy cause,” said Kaneland coach Brian Aversa, noting the money went to two members of the community in their battles with cancer and Children’s Hospital in previous years.
This year, the players have chosen to use the event to raise funds for the family of Bridget Sweeney, a business and computer teacher at Kaneland High School, in her battle with cancer.
Sweeney was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma in her right arm 20 years ago when she was a senior in high school. The tumor was removed in the first of what would be her many surgeries. It recurred and had spread to her lungs a year later and came back again in 2001. It returned a third time last September after she and her husband had their second child.
Sweeney has missed most of this school year. After she chose not to have her arm amputated, she had a procedure to remove most of the soft tissue in her arm and has had two of a series of three surgeries to rebuild her arm.
The varsity game, which starts at about 7 p.m., will be preceded by the sophomore game at 4:30. Also at 4:30, the programs’ freshman A and B teams will play at Batavia High School and then be bused to the stadium to experience the night.
“We’ll have a ceremony on the field and Bridget’s son will throw out the first pitch,” Aversa said. “She’s hoping to be there for the game, too.
“We try to make it special. The seniors love it because it’s nice to play at a pretty sweet minor league stadium like that. And we’ve had several organizations at the school come together to help us out with a raffle and other fundraising efforts.”
Admission charges are $5 for adults, $4 for high school and middle school students and $3 for elementary students with youngsters 3-and-under admitted free.