When Evan Knoblauch was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of blood cancer, in the spring of 2017, he quickly found out he would not face his battle alone.
His St. Bede family, including the Bruins baseball and football programs, rallied around him and has been with him every step of the way.
St. Bede will salute Knoblauch with his own special night, “Evan’s Friday Night,” hosting a flag football game under the lights at the academy gridiron in his honor this Friday.
The event will start at 6 p.m. from the entrance to St. Bede Lane to join the local responders and band waiting for Evan’s arrival on the St. Bede bus. The mini-parade will proceed toward the football field.
“What a great thing for people to get together to an honor a kid that’s been such a great inspiration,” St. Bede baseball coach Bill Booker said.
Booker renamed the Bruins baseball captain award as the Evan Knoblauch Captain Award this spring, which he said will remain in place for years to come.
“I told him, that’s what you are, and you always will be,” Booker said.
In addition to playing baseball, Knoblauch played football at St. Bede, described by Booker as “an undersized, technique, outstanding offensive tackle at 170 pounds.”
Despite his cancer treatments, Knoblauch followed his dreams to become a member of the Oglesby Fire Department. His father, Jim, is the Oglesby Police Chief.
Knoblauch, along with former Hall athlete Rhodes Garland, who faced his own battle with cancer, was honored as 2018 Bo Jackson Courage Award winners by the Chicago Pitch and Hit Club.
That kind of courage is what St. Bede senior Maggie Sons said helped inspire the Lady Bruins softball team to a third-place finish at state.
Introductions of teams EK 63 and EK 25 will be announced at 7 p.m., with kickoff at 7:30.
The concession stand and Bedan Club pork chop pavilion will be open.