Heart and Soul winner: St. Charles East and North swim teams
When it comes to helping others there's no shortage of examples within the St. Charles sports community. The annual kick-a-thon, which debuted in 1994, has raised over $1 million and now takes place each fall before the East-North football game, is a prime example.
The swimming programs at St. Charles East and St. Charles North also know how to come together for a great cause.
When the Saints and North Stars girls teams met this fall for their cross-town swim meet, they all wore pink caps instead of their normal orange and black and black and blue.
They once again swam to raise money for Scout Cantrell and the For Scout Foundation. The foundation was created by the Cantrell family (Tony, Felicity and older sister Katie) 5 years ago to honor the life and legacy of their beloved daughter and sister, Scout, who passed away in October 2014 from complications from an asthma attack at the age of 9.
This year the two teams raised $5,400 for the foundation.
Since 2014, the For Scout Foundation has raised more than $245,000.
The St. Charles swim teams are the winners of this year's Daily Herald Prep Sports Excellence Heart and Soul Award.
Swimming coaches on both sides of town are proud of what their swimmers are doing.
"The Heart and Soul award is spot on for what the For Scout Fondation meet represents," said St. Charles East coach Julia Oelslager. "St. Charles Aquatics is a tight knit family. Every member of St. Charles Aquatics is community focused and supports one another. I had the absolute joy and pleasure of coaching Scout Cantrell. Her light and passion for swimming is an inspiration for the sport. The meet and fundraiser is a continued message from Scout. Everyone is racing for the same purpose. It is not about East vs. North but what we can do for our community in honor of Scout Cantrell."
Older sister Katie Cantrell swam at St. Charles North until graduating in 2019 for coach Rob Rooney.
The boys teams also help raise money as the St. Charles community continues to honor Scout.
"I think that the swimming and diving community of St. Charles is so close, the parents, the athletes and the coaches that we have the ability to pull together for common cause," Rooney said. "All three of the groups realize how fortunate we are to have the resources and people who are willing to work together.
"For Scout Foundation is a great cause that is not only done through our girls programs but the boys as well. All four of our teams have been fortunate to work with the foundation and we look forward to the future."