Walter Ford

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February 21, 2014
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Battle of the sexes benefits cancer research

The prep water polo season has long been over, but high school seniors Ryan Filek and Chase Milhous are bringing the Nevada Union boys and girls teams back for one more match — against each other.

As their senior project, Filek and Milhous are putting on a “Battle of the Sexes” water polo game at Nevada Union, with the proceeds going to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

“We thought of this because we both want to go into a medical field,” Filek said. “And, we both have a passion for sports, so we thought about how we could combine that to benefit a community or organization. We came up with St. Jude’s because I know some people that have battled cancer.”

The benefit game will take place at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, at the Nevada Union swimming pool and costs $3 to attend. There will be a donation jar for those who wish to give more, as well as a snack shack to purchase food and drinks.

Filek and Milhous hope to raise anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $1,000, Filek said.

“It will all depend on how many people come,” he said.

Many of the varsity players that made NU a force this past season will be playing. Leading the girls team will be All-Sac-Joaquin Section team member Nicole Blaney and Sarah Cudworth. In addition to Filek and Milhous, who was the boys leading scorer last season, the boys team includes Parker Rhodes and Earl English.

There will be one tweak to the boys vs. girls format, as the girls team will have a boy goalie more prepared for the velocity of shots coming from the boys team, Filek said. The girls team will also be shooting on a goalie of their gender.

As for who will win the contest, Filek is confident in his boys team.

“The girls have a strong squad,” he said. “But, I’m thinking the guys will take it.”

Boys water polo coach Lotty Hellested is the mentor for the project and will be on hand, as well.

Through the process of organizing this event, Filek said his eyes have been opened to the harsh reality of those afflicted with cancer.

“I have a lot more appreciation for people that are sick, I feel for them more,” he said.

“All this has opened my eyes a lot more. People don’t really see the whole truth about cancer. They see it and think it’s sad, but they don’t really know the full affect it has on families. The hope is that fundraisers like this can help save a lot of lives.”

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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The Union Updated Feb 21, 2014 03:12PM Published Feb 21, 2014 01:42PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.