Brittney Lofthouse — Staff Writer

Smoky Mountain and Franklin High School football teams have a rivalry as old as time and every fall the Battle of Cowee Mountain is a hard-fought effort by all athletes. This year, the two rivalries will face off in Jackson County, home of the Mustangs for both team’s last game of the regular season.

While the competition will be as fierce as ever, especially with Franklin fighting to earn an undefeated regular season record, students at both schools are coming together for a greater cause.

On Friday Nov. 3, at Smoky Mountain High School students from both schools will join together to sponsor a blood drive and canned food drive in memory of Cieara Sunshine Harmon. Harmon was a rising senior at Franklin High School and would have graduated this coming spring. Before beginning her senior year as a Panther, Cieara passed away in a car accident on Cowee Mountain. The goal of the blood drive and canned food drive is the honor and remember the life of Cieara through the purpose of helping others.

The blood drive will be Friday 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The blood drive is sponsored by the Smoky Mountain High School Nursing Fundamentals class and the Franklin High School Nursing Fundamentals class. The blood drive will be hosted through The Blood Connection, which is recognized for providing blood in local communities within Western North Carolina. The blood drive will be located within the old gym of Smoky Mountain High School. Anyone who would like to donate is encouraged to sign up at or call (828) 233-5302 for an appointment. Cieara would have been a part of the Fall Nursing Fundamentals class and the blood drive is a way to honor her desire to serve her community.

The canned food drive will be Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The canned food drive is sponsored by students of both schools. The canned food drive drop-off points will be located at the two entrances to the Smoky Mountain vs. Franklin Football game. Anyone who would like to donate will bring their canned food to one of the two entrances before entering into the football game. All the canned food collected will be donated to United Christian Ministries (Jackson County) and CareNet (Macon County).

During halftime of the Smoky vs. Franklin Football Game, a plaque presented to a representative from United Christian Ministries and CareNet in Cieara’s name on behalf of Cieara’s family and the community.

Friday night’s match up is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.