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Krenzel, Sullinger speak at Tailgate for Cancer fundraiser

July 19, 2013

Craig Krenzel and J.J. Sullinger spoke at Buffalo Wild Wings in St. Marys on Thursday. (Staff Photos/Brian Smith)

One of Craig Krenzel's three most memorable games as a Buckeye quarterback came against Purdue. That part is no surprise.

That it wasn't the Holy Buckeye game from 2002 might be.

"After our final home game my senior year after we beat Purdue, instead of turning left to exit the locker room, me and five seniors turned right and went back into the stadium," the former Ohio State and Chicago Bears quarterback said. "It was a 3:30 game, so the sun was going down, the stadium was still a mess from the game and completely empty and we just sat in the bleachers."

Sitting in the hot-dog wrapper strewn seats and watching as the fall skies turned dark, one of Krenzel's fellow seniors said,'16-0 at home. We didn't do too bad."

Even 10 years later for a couple of former Ohio State standout athletes, their time wearing scarlet and gray is still vivid.

Krenzel and J.J. Sullinger, a former standout Ohio State basketball forward, spoke at the St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer fundraising event at Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday night, swapping stories about being key pieces in the turnarounds of both the Buckeye football and basketball programs in the early 2000s.

The event was a fundraiser for St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer, which has raised more than $203,000 for area and state cancer charities over the previous four years. The group holds its tailgate event in September during an Ohio State football game, drawing thousands.

St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer organizer Traci Lauth spoke about the importance of cancer awareness and read a letter from an area woman fighting ovarian cancer. The St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer is raising money for all types of cancer research and treatment this year after giving to breast cancer charities the past few years.

"If it wasn't for you guys, we wouldn't have ever been able to do this," Lauth said.

This year the two-day Tailgate for Cancer event be Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14 on the weekend of the California at Ohio State football game at the St. Marys Eagles. The group also promotes the Buckeye Cruise, another fundraising event for cancer charities around Ohio, including The James hospital on the Ohio State campus.

Sullinger plans on coming back to St. Marys to attend the Tailgate for Cancer event. "I heard you guys know how to have some fun," he said, laughing.

Sullinger ran a basketball camp for students  earlier on Thursday at St. Marys Memorial High School, saying it was fun working with area players. The camp benefitted the St. Marys 3-Point Club, which raises money for the St. Marys basketball program.

"The kids really improved their skills today and we had fun," he said.

Read more about the event in today's Evening Leader.

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