The fledgling football program of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which plays it first-ever game early next month, received some off the field support on Aug. 8, as a Pig Picken fundraiser was held at Chapel Hill Farms in Perry Hall. The event generated $16,000 for the program.

Originally intended to be a fundraiser for Baltimore County Councilman Joe Bartenfelder, the day was transformed into a benefit for the Cougar football squad. Bartenfelder, who played football in the mid-seventies at Calvert Hall has been an integral part of bringing football to Mount Carmel, where his two sons are students.

“Our Lady of Mount Carmel is important to the east side of the county, it gives some kids an education they would not normally receive,” said Bartenfelder. “It is my hope that the addition of football will ensure the continued success of the school.”

Mount Carmel, which hired former Morgan State star Robb Johnson as its first head coach earlier this summer, announced in June that it was launching a football program. Situated in a hotbed of youth football programs, it is believed the sport will attract students to the Essex school which may not have previously considered Mount Carmel.

Johnson’s squad began practice this week and will open its season against Baltimore Lutheran, at Eastern Regional Park, on the Sept. 10 at 7:00 p.m.