While the Vel Phillips Memorial and Madison West High Schools’ Boys Hockey Teams battled on the ice rink Tuesday night, a second competition was rumbling at the concession stand: Cookie Wars.
A fundraiser supporting both teams and created by the teammates’ parents, the Cookie Wars victor is determined by which team can sell more cookies, donated by the Fitchburg Hy-Vee. Typically the teams split the funds down the middle, but this week, all proceeds went to a special cause; the family of a Memorial player, whose father, “the ultimate hockey dad,” died unexpectedly last month.
“Eric was an amazing hockey dad,” Jamie Beyler, a former coworker and West hockey parent said. “Everyone loved him. He would record the games, he was always cheering on all the kids, and happy for absolutely everybody.”
More than 400 cookies were sold before the game even ended, Beyler said, adding that she sold a cookie to one boy who insisted on purchasing it for $100.
Despite playing on “rival” teams, many of the Memorial and West players and families are longtime friends, stemming from their days playing together on the West Madison Polar Caps Youth Hockey Club.
“I mean, It is a bit of a rivalry, [the West Regents] always want to beat Memorial, and their alumni and families feel the same way,” Beyler said with a laugh. “At the end of the day, we all want to come together and support the family, and help them out.”