UNION, NJ – Middlesex and Union County's high school football All Stars played a hard fought game against each other in the 20th Annual Snapple Bowl last Thursday, July 18 in front of over 3,000 fans to raise money for Children’s Specialized Hospital and the NJ Institute for Disabilities.
This year's game, which celebrated the Snapple Bowl's 20th anniversary, featured Middlesex defeating Union County, 30-28, for their seventh victory in the Snapple Bowl in the last eight years. Middlesex won the game with a consistent offense and two interceptions from members of their defense.
Despite being defeated by Middlesex once again, many players from Union County's high schools were represented well. Representing Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School on the Union County squad were James Kaiser, Anthony Tufaro, and Dein Rice.
"The game was a lot of fun," said Tufaro, who graduated last June. "As my last high school and last football game ever, I really put it all out there and enjoyed it very much".
As the football players were the main attraction, the teams were also cheered on by some of Middlesex and Union County's All Star cheerleaders. Two of the girls on Union County's cheerleading squad were Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students Hailey Rachko and Liz Nardone.
"We were very honored to participate as All Star cheerleaders for Union County," said Rachko, who is a junior. "Liz and I were happy to represent our high school, to be involved in supporting Children's Specialized hospital, and cheering for a great cause".
Although the Snapple Bowl was competitive, Middlesex and Union County made a difference by coming together to raise money for the Children's Specialized Hospital and the NJ Institute for Disabilities. Prior to the game, each of the football players, coaches, and cheerleaders from both counties visited the hospitals to spend time with the children and show them they care.
"It was truly an unforgettable experience for me," said Tufaro as he talked about the hospital visits and playing for a cause. "It made me realize how lucky I am and how difficult it is for others."