This Saturday the Madison County Pirates will take on the Darke County Warriors from Greenville, Ohio, at Denny Field in Anderson. Proceeds from the event will benefit memorial funds for Tipton County Sheriff’s Department deputy Matt Thompson.

Thompson, 47, was killed in a motorcycle accident on July 8 in Sharpsville. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and granddaughter. Thompson, a 24-year veteran of the department, was the Democratic candidate for sheriff in the upcoming November election.

Formed in 2004, the Pirates resurrected its mascot and team colors, black, red, and silver, from Madison Heights High School after its closing in 1998. This will be the first game of the season for the Pirates who compete in the Interstate Football League. Originally scheduled as an away game, Warriors’ head coach Keith Maloy agreed to relocate the game to Anderson as a charitable event to benefit Thompson’s family.

“You could call it a goodwill type of thing. One of the head officials (Mike Sampson) was trying to find a way to honor Matt Thompson. He came up with the possibility of having a memorial game in his honor. It just so happened that we were in an advantageous position in that we play our games relatively close to Tipton County,” said Dane Hill, head coach of the Pirates. “This is a good opportunity for us to help out, one of the things we try to do is be involved in community events and help out when we can.”

Thompson was a motorcycle enthusiast and nearly 600 fellow riders, officers, and friends are anticipated to attend the game. Additionally, numerous Tipton County deputies and the mayor of Tipton are expected.

An outreach of New Berean Baptist Church in Anderson, the Madison County Pirates were founded by Dr. James E. Streeter, pastor; Dane Hill, head coach; and Darryl Hill, defensive coordinator.

“We’ve been blessed, our team is an example for the league,” Streeter said of the success of the Pirates. “We have all nationalities on the team. It is a place where people come together to have a good time, play football and develop better moral values.”

Who: Madison County Pirates v. Darke County Warriors

Interstate Football League

What: Memorial Football game for Matt Thompson

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Denny Field, Anderson

Cost: Free, donations will be accepted for the family of Matt Thompson.

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