NEWARK — The call was late and unexpected, but D.J. Cornish was happy to answer it.
Cornish, from Lake Forest High, was originally an alternate for the Blue-Gold senior all-star football game.
He found out at the end of the spring sports season he would be on the Gold roster.
So Cornish was at the University of Delaware on Sunday for media day which kicks off a full week of activities for the 60th annual Blue-Gold game which benefits the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with intellectual disabilities (DFRC).
“Awesome, it’s amazing,” Cornish said. “I’m very humbled and honored that I was blessed with this opportunity. I’m really honored.”
The game is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. at Delaware Stadium on the campus of the University of Delaware in Newark. Ticket sales start at 4 p.m. and the opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 each for general admission and are available at the gates or at all Grotto Pizza Delaware locations, at all Delaware Lions clubs and through the DFRC website (www.dfrc.org).
Cornish is joined by his Lake Forest teammates John Flamer and Brian Thomson on the Gold roster, representing schools from the Christina School District, the Appoquinimink School District, St. Georges, Red Lion Christian, St. Andrew’s, Kent County schools and Sussex County schools. The Blue team is made up of the rest of New Castle county.
Cornish found out he had made it while volunteering at a track practice at Lake Forest. That’s when his football coach, Freddie Johnson, broke the news.
It means Cornish will participate in both the Blue-Gold football and basketball games this season, which hasn’t happened in a long time for a Spartan athlete.
“I was like, ‘For real?’” Cornish said. “It’s really rare at my school. This was a goal of mine that I set at the beginning of the year.”
Cornish joins Laurel’s Chucky Auguste as the only two players this year to suit up for the Gold teams in basketball and football.
Players spent Sunday hanging out on the football field with their buddies through the DFRC’s hand-in-hand program. It has been around since 1974 and gives each participant in the Blue-Gold game a buddy between the ages of 4-18 with an intellectual disability.
“I’ve heard it’s one of the best weeks you have,” Cornish said. “I’ve been told to embrace it, meet new friends because this is something you’re going to remember for the rest of your life. We’re all here doing this for a good cause and we love to play. It can’t get much better than that.”