North Central College will honor two alumni prior to the 1 p.m. start of the Cardinals' first home football game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Two alumni who died within the past year—Al Benedetti '48 and Shaun Wild '11—will be honored during a pregame ceremony. The Cardinals face the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium. Tickets are $6/adults and free to students with a valid ID and to children ages 3 and under.
Benedetti was a Life Trustee and longtime stalwart of the College who passed away on May 3. He played football as a student-athlete and graduated from the College in 1948 with a degree in chemistry. His numerous contributions to North Central College include helping to build the College's former football stadium known as the “$18,000 Miracle in Naperville” in 1976 and the facility that bears his name—Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium—that was built after a devastating 1996 flood.
Wild died after intervening to protect a friend during a violent confrontation on Feb. 4. He played football at North Central, was president of the Student Leaders Association of Teacher Educators and a member of the student-athlete honor society. He graduated in 2011 with a major in elementary education with minors in history and social studies and taught second grade at Spring Brook Elementary School in Naperville.
North Central has been selected as the favorite to win the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship in football for the seventh consecutive season. The Cardinals received the No. 1 spot in the CCIW's annual preseason poll of the conference's eight head coaches. The Cardinals have gone 39-3 in CCIW play and 59-12 overall in the past six seasons, going undefeated in conference games three of the past four seasons.
Other Cardinal home football games this season include vs. the University of Redlands (Calif.) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8; vs. Elmhurst College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29; Homecoming vs. Illinois Wesleyan University at 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 27; and vs. Wheaton College at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 in the 64th annual battle for the Little Brass Bell trophy. The Cardinals will look to retain the trophy for the fifth straight year.
The Sept. 8, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 games will be broadcast live on Naperville Community Television, Channel 17 and nctv17.com.