In light of recent shootings in the United States, Southeast Missouri head football coach Tom Matukewicz felt compelled to do something. Jackson, Mo. native and quarterback Dante Vandeven, one of eight representatives on the leadership council, was quick to suggest a charity flag football event that would involve Southeast’s football team and local law enforcement. Not a game that would pit Cops against Hawks, but an event that would bring a whole community together.
On Thursday night, four teams with Redhawks and law enforcement officials played flag football rules with a 25 minute running clock. The white team won the event with victories over the gold and red squads. Cape Girardeau Chief of Police Wes Blair, Cape Girardeau County Sheriff John Jordan, Jackson Chief of Police James Humphreys and Southeast Missouri State Department of Public Safety Officer Kenny Mayberry served as honorary coaches.
For Redhawks senior and Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference wideout Tremane McCullough, his relationship with police has been rocky, but he found a way to help the community come together. McCullough’s older brother, Tavaris, was shot and killed by a police officer in West Palm Beach, Florida back in 2007. McCullough said he hated all cops for years and wouldn’t even look at them.
Coach Tuke talks about the game.
“Tonight was an opportunity for everybody to come together and we had a lot of fun,” said McCullough. “It’s important to support each other and show people there can be unity. We need to come together as one big family in this world.”
Afterwards, the Redhawks and law enforcement participants enjoyed a meal together, where Blair and Southeast linebacker Terrance Hill were guest speakers.