High school hockey game honours memory of two former athletes
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton high school is raising money and honouring the memory of two of its former athletes, by hosting a hockey game between students and teachers.
Matt Cook and Karsten Huth both attended St. Francis Xavier High School, where they were active in school sports. Cook was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and had to have one leg amputated at just 18 years old.
But the loss of his leg didn’t stop Cook from doing what he loved, said his mother.
“He was going through his four years of cancer and lots of surgery,” said Lynn Anderson Cook. “He trained and made the Canada sledge hockey team, so he had a lot of drive and commitment and hockey was a big part of that.”
Billy Hunter Arena is a place that served as an escape for the boys while they battled cancer.
“The lacrosse academy community is a big part of what Karsten knew at the end of his life, it was his social aspect being here, and that’s where he made his friends,” said Carmen Huth.
Cancer took Cook’s life in 2010, while Huth died of his illness in 2015.
On Wednesday, their alum held its annual game between students and teachers, using this year’s game to honour the two young men.
“Both of their fights were important ones, and they are both important members of our school community, so anything we can do to raise some money and contribute to some important causes is great for us,” said St. FX teacher John Lintz.
Students raised money for the Matt Cook Foundation, which supports young adults in their battle with cancer, and supported a toy drive in Huth’s name.
The game is a source of support for the mothers of Cook and Huth, at what has become a difficult time of year for their families.
“As a parent it’s pretty touching that people still want to go out and do things in the community, in his name, but really to help others who are here with us and need us,” said Anderson Cook.
Both mothers say their sons would have loved to see what their legacy has created.
“To have people be present and be in the moment and make the best of your life, regardless of your situation, he’d be very happy to be here today and I’m sure he’s here with us,” Anderson Cook.
“He’d think this is pretty cool. He’d be show boating or something. He’d think it’s pretty spectacular, I’m sure he’d like to see his name in lights, so there you go,” said Huth.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Joey Slattery