The NYPD Finest Football Team is playing a game in memory of Joe Pritchard, the NYPD officer and Lindenhurst High School alum and former varsity football player who lost his life tragically in a March 25 crash on the Long Island Expressway.
The team, on which Pritchard played, plays the Long Island Panthers on Saturday, April 6, at the Lindenhurst Middle School Field.
The game starts at 6:30 p.m., and admission is free, but donations are encouraged as they'll go toward a scholarship fund that's being started.
"A collection will be taken to start a scholarship in his name to be given by the Lindenhurst Touchdown Club," according to James Simmons, the team's photographer, who shared the details of the '#1 in Our Hearts" game with Lindenhurst Patch via e-mail this week.
The game was named as such since #1 was Pritchard's number on the team, which is a semi-pro football team that's a member of the National Public Safety Football League (NPSFL).
It's also a non-profit organization that's raised a half a million dollars in donations to several charities since its inception in 1973, according to its Facebook page.
"The Finest football team will also be retiring Joe's uniform number [on Saturday]," said Simmons, whose sister Christine is married to John Pritchard, Joe's brother and an NYPD officer, as well.
"His brothers wish to honor his memory on the field that he played his high school football on. Any former Bulldog players are urged to wear their jerseys to the game," Simmons also posted on the team's Facebook page this week.
"Spread the news; we want to fill the stands to show his family how much he was loved."
Memorial T-shirts will be for sale, as well, Simmons told Patch.
"The shirts are $20, cash only, at the game, and a website will be up sometime next week," he added.
Details of the game have been shared all over Facebook, and have been included in the accompanying flier, which was shared with Patch by Robert Dare, who made it.
Dare played football at Lindenhurst with Pritchard, who was an all-Suffolk and all-Division I defensive end and running back for the Bulldogs.
Both also graduated in 2001.
Lindenhurst Schools Superintendent Richard Nathan announced the details of the game at Wednesday night's Lindenhurst Board of Education monthly business meeting.
In addition, the Class of 2001 Peer Leadership Class, of which Pritchard was also a part, is planning to plant a tree in the courtyard of the LHS in Pritchard's memory, according to the superintendent at the meeting.
"The students involved in that class remained close through the years, and one of them is now a teacher at the high school - Jillian Marx. She came to me with their idea of the tree planting," Nathan told Lindenhurst Patch after the meeting.
There was no word about when the tree planting would take place.
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