Homecoming crowd shows up in support of Decker family


Submitted Photo

The Northfield student section joined in on the support wearing green and sporting a sign that said, “Nobody fights alone. #MasonStrong.”

Kai Ahrens, Writer

A week before Homecoming, Head Coach Jacob Norby decided to use the game as a fundraiser for Mason Decker, an 8th grader diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The fundraiser consisted of staff and student volunteers selling Trojan apparel and asking for donations. The homecoming game against the Northfield Raiders showed massive support for the Decker Family. The communities — both New Prague and Northfield — came together in a wave of green. The Raiders showed good sportsmanship: the student section dressed in green, displayed a ‘Mason Strong’ sign, and the Northfield Football Program even donated to the cause. All of the inventory was sold, and between that and donations at the game and via Venmo, the event raised over $13,000 for the Decker Family.

Mason’s parents are both employed in the district. His dad Jeff is a science teacher at the high school, and his mom Lisa Decker is the Compass Learning Center Program Lead. They keep a Caring Bridge site updated to let friends and family know how Mason is doing. Below is text from their entry September 22, 2021.

“Jeff and I went back to school yesterday for the first time in two weeks. We were both impressed by all the ways our students welcomed us back and shared their well wishes. The return to work and a semblance of normalcy was very gratifying. 

“We continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we have received. The cards, gifts, calls, meals and well wishes continue to come our way and remind us of how much kindness and generosity exist in this world.

“The New Prague community continues to go above and beyond. This week is Homecoming and the football organization as well as other staff and student groups have organized a benefit at Friday night’s game. Mason’s unsure of how to handle all the attention and Jeff and I just look at each other dumbfounded. Again, we have learned a lot through this whole experience and will definitely pay it forward in the future when cancer’s just a bad memory!”

Even after Homecoming, students continue to support the Decker Family. At an away volleyball game, many fans showed up wearing green, and the volleyball team wore green ribbons while playing. 

New Prague is rooting for you, Mason. Get better soon!