Two of East Tennessee’s fiercest rivals are uniting this week in support of fallen Maryville officer Kenny Moats.
On Friday, both Maryville and Alcoa high schools are encouraging fans to wear blue shirts that read “Alcoa vs. Maryville – teams united” at one the most anticipated football games of the season.
Alcoa High School Athletic Director Josh Stephens said the hope is to unite both schools in support of Moats and the larger law enforcement community.
"On Friday, you're going to see two communities come together. It'll be a friendly game, but it'll be a competitive game,” Stephens said.
On Tuesday, leaders at the two schools each picked up 500 shirts to sell to students, parents and fans. The shirts are $10. Student sales will include a ticket to the game; non-students will have to pay for their tickets separately.
“We’ve had some pretty crazy demand for some pretty crazy things, but nothing that’s brought a community together like this,” said GoTeez owner Brian Johnston, who printed the shirts for Friday’s game.
Employees at his t-shirt business have been working overtime to meet the excess demand.
After Moats was killed, GoTeez printed shirts that read “United We Stand” and donated all of the proceeds directly to the family.
So far, those shirts have reeled in more than $75,000.
“We do still have people coming in and wanting the shirt,” Johnston said. “We have thousands of people that have emailed and called, but since we were doing it for free, we’ve had to kind of slow the movement on it since we’re not keeping anything from it.”
For non-student shirt sales, 100 percent of the revenue will go straight to the Moats family.
For student shirt sales - which also include a ticket to the game - 30 percent will go toward the family, while the rest will benefit the schools.
The other two Blount County high schools - Heritage and William Blount - are also selling similar shirts for their game on Friday at the same rate.
(© 2016 WBIR)