The rivalry between Caesar Rodney and Dover High School is notorious and on Friday night the two schools will face off in football action sure to draw thousands of fans. But before the schools go toe to toe on the turf, they went plate to plate on Tuesday in a pizza-eating contest at Grotto Pizza in Dover.
The event served as a charity fundraiser and featured performances by the schools’ JROTC programs, cheerleaders and Dover High’s drum line , but the main event was all about pizza.
The Caesar Rodney team included Deana Martin, Ian McCarthy, Kyle Bailey and Ahjalah Demby, while the Dover team was made up of Brooklyn Peete, Austin Williams, Ashley Wong and Scott Percell.
Each team member was given one slice of pizza, and as one teammate finished, the next would begin. Caesar Rodney got off to a bit of a slow start and it looked like Dover was a shoe in, but in the latter half of the race Caesar Rodney began to pick up steam. In the end, however, Caesar Rodney couldn’t recover from the slow start and Dover walked away with a win.
The Dover team was excited about its victory.
“I’m very excited,” said Ashley Wong, who represented the Dover High cheerleading squad in the match. “It was a little hard, you basically had to swallow the pizza whole.”
The CR team wasn’t feeling as good after the contest though.
“I feel like I never want to eat pizza again,” said Ahjalah Demby, who represented the Caesar Rodney cheerleaders.
The night was about more than just fostering an old rivalry, though. it was also an opportunity for the community to give back. Grotto donated 20 percent of the night’s proceeds earned the hours between 6 and 8 p.m. to local charities that the school had selected. Dover High chose to split its donations between Epilepsy Foundation of Delaware and Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. Caesar Rodney donated all of its funds to Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
United Way stepped up to help coordinate the efforts between Grotto Pizza and the charities, and the event was also sponsored by Energizer.
Students from both schools seemed happy to come together for a great cause.
“There is a rivalry between us, but this makes it about more than a rivalry,” said Kyndell Belcher, a Dover High student. “It shows we can come together for a good cause.”
Greg Demby Sr., Ahjalah’s father, liked the idea of bringing the two schools together because the kids in the schools are neighbors.
Page 2 of 2 - “I think it’s a good idea for the community to get together like this,” Greg Demby Sr. said. “These kids might go to two separate schools, but they live in one community.”
The pizza-eating contest wasn’t the only competition for students. Schools were vying to see which school could collect the most canned goods during a month-long food drive, who could raise the most money for their charity and which school’s promotional poster for the event received the most votes. All of those elements would be factored into determine which school will be the winner of the Charity Cup.
Dover won the pizza-eating contest, but Caesar Rodney brought in the most canned goods, meaning that both schools are neck-in-neck for the final win.
The team that raised the most funds, the poster contest winner and the overall winner will be announced at the Dover vs. Caesar Rodney football game scheduled for tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Caesar Rodney High School.