UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Utica University and the University of Rochester have agreed to a two-year contract to face one another in the ‘Believe Bowl’, which will be entering its fifth year and acts as a fundraising event for the Believe 271 Foundation, who provide financial assistance to volunteer firefighters, EMTs and members of ladies’ auxiliaries who suffer from life-threatening illnesses, like cancer and the Thea Bowman House, who help provide quality care to underprivileged children in the local community. 

At a press conference today Utica University football head coach Blaise Faggiano named the honorary captains for Saturday’s game, Floyd fire department chief john stark, who was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in may of 2021, and Jacob Phelps, the son of Maynard firefighter and Marcy native Tom Phelps, who in may was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the liver and passed one month ago today at the age of 54. Stark and Phelps will be on the field for the coin toss prior to Saturday’s game.

If you would like to make a donation or contribute to the 271 Foundation or the Thea Bowman House, Utica Football is auctioning off the jerseys that they will be wearing during the game on their website, with proceeds from that auction already surpassing $5,000.