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    Pirates play with a purpose


    Perry beat Lakeside on Saturday, 70-16, but the Pirates played with a greater purpose than adding a 16th win to their resume.

    Led by senior Madyson Hacking, Perry scheduled its Hoops for Little Hearts fundraiser to coincide with Saturday night’s game.

    “We have raised about $1,000 and we are still receiving some donations through the mail,” Hacking said. “I’m excited that we have been able to raise so much, especially due to COVID having limited fans at the game.”

    The Hoops for Little Hearts fundraiser benefits children born with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD).

    Hacking was first introduced to CHD during her freshman year of AAU basketball.

    “My basketball coach’s nephew was born with CHD and had to have immediate heart surgery three days after being born,” she said. “This really stuck with me that children who have barely been in this world are fighting for their lives each day. After hearing her story, I wanted to find a way to help. It means a lot to run and be part of this event. I have always loved basketball and it has given me so much that I’m very thankful to be able to give back to people through the sport.”

    Prior to the game, Hacking and her teammates sold t-shirts and used social media to help raise awareness for the cause.

    “My teammates and coaches are a big help in the event as well as the Perry administration and athletic director,” Hacking said. “They all help me put this event together and also spread the word for the event. Lakeside girls’ basketball was a big supporter this year as well.”

    While Hacking was pleased with the results of Saturday’s fundraiser, she hopes she has inspired her teammates to continue to use their platforms for the greater good.

    “I hope that my younger teammates have become aware of CHD,” she said. “I also hope they see how much I love this game and that you can use your love for the game to help change people lives and help others.”

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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