Rival high schools team up to support teacher with cancer

OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The Highway Two Classic is taking on a new meaning this year. Long-standing rivals - the Sterlington Tigers and Oak Grove Panthers are teaming up to help a teacher with cancer.

Back in April, Sterlington High School Teacher Laura McLeland was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. (Source: KNOE)

Back in April, Sterlington High School Teacher Laura McLeland was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

"She's in the middle of the fight of her life right now,” said Jason Thompson, Principal Sterlington High School.

Her fellow panthers stepped up Friday to help her in her fight.

"I think she's got six biweekly chemo treatments that she's currently going through," Thompson said.

In order to help with her medical expenses, they teamed up with Oak Grove and are using hats to raise money all day long.

"We did hat day for the students, they pay one dollar to get to wear a hat around the school, we’re allowing the teachers to pay five dollars they get to wear blue jeans to school all week next week, so it's been a great response," said Ryan Gregory, Coach at Oak Grove High School.

While the Tigers brought their hats to school, the Panthers brought theirs to the field and passed it around the stadium to collect donations.

For Oak Grove football player Dalton Allen, it was a great opportunity for the students to jump in on.

"It's something different you get to come together with, they're our rivalry it's kind of special to have a part in that," Allen said.

It's a chance for everyone to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Thompson says he's interested in seeing the big game but also the impact the two communities will have.

"I know both have given hearts and attitudes, I hope we're able to raise a lot of money for them tonight," Thompson said.

McLeland is in the middle of her chemotherapy treatments in Houston, Texas.