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Boys Soccer: West Fargo scrimmages for Bearfield

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Last year, the West Fargo boys soccer team held a benefit scrimmage for three-year-old Matt Strahm, who was recovering from cancer.

This year, the Packers are ready to give back to yet another deserving West Fargo resident.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, the seventh annual Boys Soccer Alumni Pre-Season Scrimmage will kick off. All ex-Packer boys soccer players are invited to participate. Proceeds from the event will benefit Rachel Bearfield, who currently is battling breast cancer and undergoing radiation treatments.

Bearfield has worked in West Fargo Public Schools for nearly a quarter century, and for the past nine years as an administrative assistant at Eastwood Elementary School. But last winter, Bearfield was forced to stop doing what she loved when cancer took hold.

"I have triple negative breast cancer, which means they don't have a treatment for it because they don't know the cause," she said. Since October, Bearfield has undergone numerous surgeries, as well as aggressive chemotherapy.

Besides being a staple at WFPS, Bearfield also has impacted its boys soccer program. She hosted two lost boys of Sudan, Simon and Santino, and eventually convinced both to try out for the soccer team.

"Our oldest boy was able to letter on varsity and the younger played JV," Bearfield said.

The alumni scrimmage pits the year's varsity team against former players. This year, the two West Fargo junior varsity squads also will scrimmage, beginning at 5 p.m.

And while the scrimmage is in its seventh year, it has only been the past few years when it has taken on a greater cause.

"This will be the third year where we have used the Alumni Scrimmage to sponsor a fund-raiser for an individual battling cancer," West Fargo varsity coach Doug Millar said. In its first year, the scrimmage sponsored Ronnie Engelking, a past player and captain with the packers. Last year, Strahm was the benefactor.

Millar said that he and girls varsity coach James Moe guess the scrimmage has garnered more than $3,000 for the previous fundraisers.

Bearfield said she didn't know what to think when Millar first informed her that they picked her to benefit from the Alumni Scrimmage.

"I was very overwhelmed," she said. "But the West Fargo School District has been so supportive. They carried me through this. Between that and my faith, I'll pull through."

For more information regarding the scrimmage, contact Millar at 367-8141.