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Liverpool, ESM play at Dome to honor athletes

A boys and girls lacrosse doubleheader Friday night at the Carrier Dome featuring Liverpool and East Syracuse-Minoa holds extra meaning for both squads.

The games are being played in honor of two student-athletes - Liverpool football player Brian Wilbur, who just completed a round of chemotherapy treatments, and ESM's two-sport athlete Kara MacDougall, who succumbed to cancer last January.

Liverpool athletic director George Mangicaro said the games at the Dome are not only a way to pay tribute to two athletes but also to raise money for their respective cancer funds, the Brian Wilbur Fund and Kara MacDougall Fund.

"It's a great opportunity for our young, healthy kids to raise funds for these two great kids," Mangicaro said.

Mangicaro and ESM athletic director Bill McEachron re-arranged their varsity lacrosse schedules to bring this event to fruition.

The girls lacrosse game will begin at 5:45 p.m. followed by the boys game at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for anyone under the age of 12.

"ES-M juggled their schedule to be able to participate," Mangicaro said. "The Carrier Dome has been unbelievable and very cooperative to make this happen."

Wilbur was diagnosed with cancer two years ago as a junior. He was unable to play football his junior year because of his illness. But his cancer went into remission and he was cleared to play his senior season.

Wilbur was a senior captain for the Warriors and played center and linebacker. But after the season, it was discovered Wilbur's cancer had returned which required more chemotherapy.

Liverpool's connection to ESM is that Kara MacDougall's mother, Kathy, works at Donlin Drive Elementary in the Liverpool School District.

Kara, 17, played soccer and lacrosse for the Spartans. Last fall, MacDougall traveled to Australia as a foreign exchange student. The ES-M senior fell ill in Australia and upon her return home she was diagnosed with liver cancer last November. She passed away just two months later.

Mangicaro, who approached Syracuse University officials about the doubleheader in January, said both families agreed to have this special benefit for Brian and Kara.

The MacDougall and Wilbur families will be recognized on the field during the event and both will receive plaques from school officials.

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