Campus, Derby work together for 'littlest heroes'

DERBY, Kan. Derby stayed undefeated with a 48-13 win against Campus Friday night. But the battle of the rivals on the field took a back seat to an effort for a good cause that brought the schools together.

From Haysville to Derby, the Campus and Derby high school cross country teams ran the game ball to Derby's Panther Stadium. Running together, they raised thousands of dollars for Wichita's Littlest Heroes, an organization that serves more than 350 children with different special needs and medical conditions.

"It just hits home with the simple fact that they don't have to," says Marissa Wilmot of the schools' effort.

Wilmot is the mother of a child benefiting from the organization and recognized as one of "Wichita's Littlest Heroes."

"Some special-needs kids are looked down upon, and to see everyone coming together and loving our children means the world to moms and dads," she adds.

In about one month, the Campus and Derby high school cross country teams raised more than $5,000.

"This game, I'm not even focused on how the game is going to go. I'm just focused on (helping recognize and honor Wichita's Littlest Heroes)," Campus High School Senior Cole Thompson said prior to Friday's kickoff in Derby.

The money raised for the organization will be used to give parents different resources to help their children.

"I think I've learned that even though the term 'rival' is used or whatever you want to call it, I think it's really cool we can come together (and) just support something bigger than sports and stuff and really get together and help these families," Derby High School senior Marah Franke.