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Chattanooga Times Free Press – June 26, 2011

published Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Locks surrendered during CFC win

CFC's Chris Ochieng controls the ball in midair during the match against Atlanta on Saturday. The Chattanooga Football Club played against the Atlanta Silverback Reserves at Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Jake Daniels.
CFC’s Chris Ochieng controls the ball in midair during the match against Atlanta on Saturday. The Chattanooga Football Club played against the Atlanta Silverback Reserves at Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The halftime entertainment at most Chattanooga Football Club games at Finley Stadium usually features a game or two on the field for some of the boys and girls in attendance to play.

On Saturday, during Chattanooga FC’s 2-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves, CFC’s Robbie Hill and Tom Webster got involved in the action. But instead of doing anything with a ball, the show involved the players’ hair and a pair of clippers.

Hill and Webster got buzz cuts, in front of the announced crowd of 1,653, to support the Jack’s Chattanoggins fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital Foundation at Erlanger, a project started by 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek of Signal Mountain.

Hill said he let his hair get a bit long to make Saturday’s show more dramatic.

“I was going to get it cut a few weeks ago, but I decided I’d wait,” the Englishman said with a smile. “I’m always happy to help out with charities and this was a great cause.”

Donations were accepted throughout the game and the main Jack’s Chattanoggins event is today at the Chattanooga Market in the First Tennessee Pavilion.

Hill’s teammate, reserve defender Thomas Clark, handled his clipping duties. Jack’s mother, Dawn, cut Webster’s hair. Despite being an Air Force Academy graduate, Clark said that was his first time with wielding the clippers.

After a scoreless first half, the action picked up dramatically in the second. In the 65th minute, CFC fullback Nick Odeny pushed forward and scored on a breakaway to put CFC up 1-0.

Five minutes later, Atlanta’s Aziz Izmour was tackled in the box by CFC’s Nick Chase, who had been pushed in the back moments before, and the referee awarded the Silverbacks a penalty kick. The score was tied soon after, but it was a penalty kick in the 89th minute that lifted CFC to a win.

Mark Beattie flipped the ball toward a defender who inadvertently touched the ball with his hands, giving CFC a chance to regain the lead. Forward Chris Ochieng sent the ball into the net for the victory, which kept CFC in first place in the National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference standings with a 5-1-1 record in league play.

“I was nervous, but after the referee blew the whistle I calmed down and picked a spot and hit it,” Ochieng said.

Chattanooga FC visits the Georgia Revolution next Saturday before hosting the Under-20 team for CF Monterrey, in Mexico, on July 4.

Shaving Heads at the Chattanooga Football Club

Chattanooga Football Club for Jack's Chattanoggins
Set up in the concourse ready for donations.

Several weeks prior to our June 26th shave event, we had the opportunity to address the Chattanooga Football Club to see if we could find some new recruits!  We’re always on the lookout for new heads to shave! The team was inspired by Jack’s story and several players volunteered to have their head shaved on behalf of Jack’s Chattanoggins. However, rather than shave at the market, we did it at a home game during half-time, the night before the shave. This was a unique turn of events.

And furthermore, they were willing to let Jack and me (aka Mom) have a go at it. As soon as the whistle blew at half-time we headed out to the field and had a few moments to address the fans about our fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Then, the buzzing of the clippers began and the hair started to fall. In just a few minutes we had two freshly buzzed CFC players, Robbie Hill and Tom Webster.

After the game, we wandered on field and many of the players were signing autographs and Jack brought his Chattanoggins poster down to be signed. We were approached by a brother and sister who wanted to thank us for what we were doing, they told us about the older brother they had lost to cancer.

My favorite part of the evening had to be when two lovely young ladies approached Jack to have their picture taken with him. Yeah, Jack!  Stay tuned for more photos!