The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

April 22, 2013

‘Blood feud’ heats up in local high schools

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

— Re-enacting a much more civil version of the Hatfields and McCoys blood feud of the 1860s, Fayetteville and Midland Trail high schools have started their own “blood feud” to see which school can raise the most units of blood for the American Red Cross.

“This fall two small high schools in Fayette County have made plans to start their own blood feud, but this time the community will benefit from the feuding parties’ bloodshed,” said Scott Hill with the American Red Cross.

Just as the Hatfields and the McCoys fought across the banks of the Tug River, the Patriots of Midland Trail High School are positioned on the north side of the New River and the Pirates of Fayetteville High School on the south.

Frank Isaacs, Midland Trail blood drive sponsor and special education teacher, said the two schools have had a healthy rivalry dating back since they were first opened. Competing to raise units of blood for the American Red Cross was a natural choice for the two schools, he said.

Hill said the schools committed to hosting five blood drives each during the 2012-13 school year and hope to collect a total of 400 units of blood between them.

This is an ambitious task for schools with an enrollment around 300, said Hill.

Hill explained a total of 320 units have been collected by the Appalachian region of the American Red Cross from the two schools to date and each school has two blood drives scheduled in May.

The final four “Blood Feud” drives are planned for May 9 and May 21 in Hico at Midland Trail and May 9 and May 29 in Fayetteville. Members of the community are welcome to attend these blood drives and help support the school of their choice, said Hill.

The Blood Feud Championship Trophy will be presented to the school with the most units collected May 31.

Isaacs has sponsored the drives for the last several years and encourages his students to think of the entire community, not only themselves, said Hill.

Stephanie Woodson, business teacher at Fayetteville High School, has been a blood drive sponsorship leader for five years and each year, the number of units collected has increased dramatically under her guidance, he added.

“In many parts of the country, high school is a place to discover knowledge of leaders from the past and present, and to think about leading in the future. In Fayette County, students are encouraged to know past leaders and to be a leader in the today as well as the future. Every unit of blood donated by these high school students could possibly help someone in their community see a brighter future,” said Hill. “Devil Anse Hatfield would be proud.”

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com