When the Henry County High School football players sprint out to take the field in their regular-season finale this Friday night, they will be trying to bring more attention to cancer. Chris Engstrand, Henry’s coach who is trying to instill in his players more than the game of football, hopes the fans do the same.
In their last home game — against Western Hills on Oct. 16 — the Wildcats wore pink wrist and arm bands, pink socks, used pink hand towels and had the pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon on the back of their helmets. Also, the field had the same pink ribbon painted around the 50-yard line. Against Gallatin County this Friday night, Engstrand is asking that all fans get in on the action as well by wearing as much pink as possible to “Pink Out” the crowd.
It is all in an attempt to bring more attention to cancer during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“It teaches our kids to think beyond football,” said Engstrand, whose team will be back at home in the Class 3-A state playoffs opening round on Nov. 6. “Plus, it’s a huge deal for our community. Getting more awareness out there about cancer is something we should all strive for.”
Like all communities, Henry County has been highly effected by cancer, which is evident by the support the Relay For Life is given each year. Held the last weekend in June on the high school’s track, it is the largest single charity event in the county. And from my perspective, the most important one. It raised around $95,000 last year.
Cancer is a disease that touches countless lives every day, and I’m thankful for these players and coaches who are bringing it to the forefront. Everyone wants to find a cure and preventable measures to fight it — awareness is that first step.
The Wildcats are trying to close out an impressive season that has seen them enter the final weekend with a 7-2 record. They have defeated Pike County Central to win the Henry County Dairy Queen Bowl, South Oldham, Trimble County, Owen County, North Oldham, Western Hills and Spencer County, and have lost to Anderson County and Owensboro Catholic. They have won the regular-season District Four championship by going perfect at 3-0 against district opponents. They have guaranteed a home game in the state playoffs for at least the first weekend. And with a win over Gallatin this Friday, could enter those playoffs at 8-2.
On top of all this, the Cats are trying to bring more awareness to cancer. They’ve done their part. Now it’s time to do yours.
Tommie Kendall can be reached at (502)845-2858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.