Hockey rivals unite to support fellow player

Rival hockey teams, Traverse City West and T.C. Central, are coming together tonight to support one student during their big game against one another.

Two weeks ago, T.C. West sophomore, Erik Anton, came down with a rare spinal disease that paralyzed him from the chest down.

Tonight the schools will unite to show their support for Anton by wearing custom shirts made in his honor. In order to keep the tradition of the rivalry going, one school will wear white, and the other in black.

Both teams will also be wearing Antonâ??s hockey number, 19, on their helmets.

Players at T.C. West tell 7 & 4 that they know this game means a lot to Anton, and that they will be skating for him tonight.

â??Yah, weâ??re definitely playing for him tonight,â?? said friend and teammate, John Linenger. â??And you know we wish he could be here for sure. We know he wanted to come up here but weâ??re just going to have to do it for him tonight.â??

Weâ??re told that Antonâ??s condition has been improving and that he has attempted to do some walking. Teammates say he looks much better than he did two weeks ago, and that they are hopeful he makes a full recovery.

Anton will be coming home to Traverse City on Friday. The team is excited, and hopeful that he will be able to make it out for a game.

Tonight's game begins at 7:00 pm, and will be held at Howe Arena.