The first football game of the season is always a big deal for perrennial powerhouse, Auburn High.  This year, the opening game takes on a new dimension. The Rockets will take on the Leicester High School at Auburn High – although Leicester will technically be the home team – in the inaugural “Top Cop Game” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.

D4M_9032 (Mobile)According to committee organizer, Tom Lauder, proceeds from the game will go to the family of Auburn Police Officer Ron Tarentino Jr., who was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 22, while making a traffic stop. All personnel working the night of the game — police officers, firefighters, EMTs, school administrators, custodial staff, ticket takers and concession stand staff — are volunteering their services in honor of the memory of Tarentino.

Before joining the Auburn Police Department, Tarentino, 42, was a police officer in Leicester, where he lived with his wife and three children.

The game will be broadcast live on Charter TV-3. This is believed to be only game being played on Sept. 8 and the first game to be played in the state.

Tickets are $5 and are being sold at Auburn High (99 Auburn St.), the Auburn Police Department, Erica Sullivan Realty (889 Southbridge St., Auburn) and in Leicester at Mike’s Donut Shoppe (1181 Main St.). It is strongly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.

The Auburn Police Department is also running what they call their “APD Pro Shop”, where you can purchase bracelets and tee shirts.

The t-shirts commemorating Tarentino and the game may be also purchased at the above ticket locations for $15.