Wilkes athletes and coaches compete for charity

Justin Franiak, Sports Editor

Tire flips, truck pushing and shuttle running recently culminated into one event as Wilkes held its annual Charity Challenge benefitting a national charity. Competition ran high as athletes competed against each other for a good cause.

 Wilkes students and faculty recently took time out of their preparations for finals and summer to help out a good cause.

Wilkes held its annual “Charity Challenge” last week at the Ralston Athletic Complex.

In the past the event, which includes tests of physical ability, benefited the Childrens Miracle Network, but this year’s event decided to take on a new charity.

“The NCAA is now partners with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and that’s what we decided to benefit this year,” Women’s Soccer Head Coach John Sumoski said.

Sumoski along with his soccer team and various Colonel coaches headed up this year’s event benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

This year’s event featured many test of strength and physical ability, pushing the Wilkes athletes that participated to exhaustion.

Teams of three men or three women, or a mixed team, participated in over five events trying to earn points towards being crowned champion.

The teams raised money through sponsors.

This year’s event featured some past favorites with some new games thrown in.

Teams had to navigate an obstacle course that reached the length of a football field. This course was set-up by Colonel football coach Frank Sheptock.

From there, teams would participate in shuttle runs and tire flips. The tire flips featured a tire that was almost 6-feet tall.

Teams then participated in flag fighting, in which a team would put on flag football flag belts and run around in a circle trying to eliminate opposing players, all while protecting themselves and fellow teammates.

Competition ran high among teams, as they all featured different athletes from all sports at Wilkes.

Justin Spzilka, sophomore soccer player, said his favorite event was the 60-yard shuttle because he could prove his speed.

“Everyone out here is a football player and I’m just a soccer player and the one of the quickest ones out here, so I just wanted to beat them all,” Spzilka said.

The last event seems to be the favorite at the Charity Challenge, and that is the truck push.

Teams needed to push a Wilkes maintenance truck about 50-yards as John Sumoski steered the vehicle.

At the end of the day, Sumoski reminded everyone as to why they were participating in the event.

“It’s a big help for you guys to be able to, in part, send someone to Disney that may not have a lot of time left,” Sumoski said.