Warm breaths are visible in the air and the sound of fans cheering are heard as they try to stay warm in the crisp October night. A pink ribbon on the field representing the fight against breast cancer is visible for all to see. Breast cancer, a deadly disease that impacts many families all over the world, continues to bring people together to celebrate the lives that have been lost and support those who are still fighting.
Jim Buonocore, the Ledyard High School athletic director and head football coach, believes that October is an opportunity for the sports program to become involved and help promote the fight against breast cancer. “Participating in athletics is more than just wins and losses,” he said. “It is about being part of something bigger than ourselves and by wearing pink and collecting donations at the ticket booths of our games, we are able to promote awareness as well as give to a very worthy fight.” He also said that they have been wearing pink since 2011, when the Crucial Catch promoted by the NFL to fight breast cancer became a part of the high school athletic scene.
“The ribbon engages the spectators and having a visual reminder is a great piece to the entire process of fighting a good fight,” Buonocore said. “Many of us have had family members or friends affected by this awful disease and to play a piece, even a small piece in helping fight the disease, makes us all feel good about ourselves. We have the opportunity to play this great game, but also be advocates in our community for special causes such as this one.” Players on the football team and both soccer teams agree with what Buonocore had to say.
Junior AJ Geneva, a soccer player, said that Ledyard High School has been an influence on how he has thought about the families who are dealing with this issue. “Breast cancer awareness is important because many American families know of someone who is fighting breast cancer and it is good to shine a light on the topic,” he said. He also believes that wearing the pink wrist bands is a good way to show support for this global issue. Geneva is not alone on his beliefs.
Senior Hannah Arnold, a soccer player, believes it is important to take a stand in this awareness because it is something that affects so many people and their loved ones. “Breast cancer awareness has made me realize that even if something is not affecting me personally, there are people going through it,” she said. “They need as much support and help as they can get.” She also said that being aware of breast cancer, and cancer in general, has made her more grateful for her health. “Especially for the ability to play the sport that I love,” she said.
Trevor Bolduc, a senior football player, feels that breast cancer awareness represents something more important than the sport. “Playing this sport has made my view more open about breast cancer awareness because it makes me realize what people go through and what they do to fight through it,” he said. “It has made me realize that a struggle in sports is not the most serious thing in the world.”“There is a lot more courage in fighting a true battle, such as breast cancer.”
Junior Jonathan Archer believes that supporting this issue helps bring light to those who struggle with breast cancer, and at the same time, educate those who may not know about the issue. “For me personally, supporting this issue helped me develop a greater understanding of the effects of this disease,” Archer said. “It shows that my teammates and I support the education and awareness of breast cancer. I came to realize how many people in the world are affected.”
Ruth Gowitzke, Staff Writer
Senior Ruth Gowitzke is a staff writer for the 2015-2016 Colonel. She participates in Symphonic Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band.