By Matt Citak

MaxPreps, the online high school sports leader and CBS Sports Digital property, and Pledge It, the country’s leading performance-based crowdfunding platform, are joining forces for the second consecutive year for an amazing cause. Touchdowns Against Cancer is a program that helps empower high school football teams around the country to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Its aim is to unify high school teams all across the country for a common cause: defeating childhood cancer.

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In 2016, nearly 200 high schools from all over the United States participated in this first-of-its-kind national high school football initiative, and helped raise more than $100,000 for St. Jude.

“We witnessed so many special moments last year with high school student-athletes and their communities pledging their performance on Friday nights to support children and their families fighting childhood cancer. Together, we raised over $100,000 for St. Jude and we’re excited about the overwhelming response to join this year’s Touchdowns Against Cancer program,” said Scott Shirley, Founder & CEO of Pledge It. “Together with MaxPreps, we can create opportunities for teams to make a positive impact and empower them to help St. Jude defeat childhood cancer.”

In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, every touchdown scored by participating high school football teams between today, September 14, and September 30 will directly benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. High school teams nationwide will launch campaigns through Pledge It, which will enable fans to pledge a donation for every touchdown scored by their high school team. Any varsity high school football coach can enroll their team through their MaxPreps coach administration page. Fans everywhere are encouraged to speak to their local coaches and urge them to participate in this wonderful campaign.

All funds raised through Touchdowns Against Cancer will benefit the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: finding cures and saving children.

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“MaxPreps is very proud of the success of last year’s Touchdowns Against Cancer campaign, which brought high school football teams and fans across the nation together to fight childhood cancer,” said Andy Beal, Founder and President of MaxPreps. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Pledge It and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital again this September to extend this important campaign and give new meaning to every touchdown scored by participating teams around the country.”

Last year, Whittier Christian High School in La Habra, California was named Touchdowns Against Cancer National Champions after raising over $11,000 in donations. Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, California was named the 2016 Touchdowns Against Cancer Community Champions for racking up 106 total pledges. In total, 27 high school football programs around the country helped raise $1,000 or more last year to fund life saving childhood cancer research.

“We are thrilled to see teens and their communities from across the country join together in Touchdowns Against Cancer to support St. Jude patients who are battling childhood cancer,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “This campaign, which launches during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, will help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital continue to push the search for cures, and ensure that no family receives a bill for anything, but can focus on helping their child live.”

There are already over 350 high school football teams enrolled in this year’s Touchdowns Against Cancer campaign. Chopticon High School in Morganza, Maryland is currently leading the country with $7,182 raised, while 14 high school football teams total have already collected more than $1,000 in donations.

To learn more about Touchdowns Against Cancer, visit

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Matt Citak is a producer for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum. Follow him on Twitter or send comments to