Rivals team up to help family who lost mother

COLUMBIA, Il. - A renewed rivalry brought together two schools for one purpose on Friday. Columbia Middle School and Immaculate Conception in Columbia played against each other for the first time since 1991.

The game included a fundraising effort to help Bryan Webb and his 6 children. Emily Webb was killed in wreck on Route 3 in February. Her children were also inside her SUV. Two of them were critically injured.

“By God’s grace all the kids are healing well,” said Brian Webb. “The two who were most seriously injured have ways to go but they’re doing amazing and I praise God for that.”

There were two games on Friday. The 8th-grade girls and 8th-grade boys from each school competed against each other. In between the contests the Webb family received a $10,000 donation to help with medical expenses and brand-new bicycles.

“We’ve received so much support and outreach from people that we’ve never met,” said Webb.

It was the coaches from the 2 schools who helped bring back the rivalry.

“Let’s start up a city championship game again and that would have been great in itself,” said Immaculate Conception Coach Tim Mueth. “But now since we can do this for the family, it’s going to make it even better.”

“This is a great platform for sports where you can make the community bigger than the game, bigger than the event,” said Columbia Middle School Coach Jon Wehrenberg. “We talked about this with the kids and this is probably the game they’ll remember more than any game they play the rest of their lives.”

“The love that we have felt through so many people is just unbelievable and it extends so much farther than just Columbia,” said Webb. “Monroe County, St. Clair County, Waterloo, Valmeyer, Millstadt Belleville, it’s just the outreach and support we’ve received from so many people is just amazing.”

The schools hope to make the rivalry night an annual tradition with the school getting behind a different cause each year.