Moffat County sports play for pink |

Moffat County sports play for pink

Athletes participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, honor survivors, victims

The members of the Moffat County High School varsity volleyball team put their hands over their hearts during the national anthem before their pink game Thursday night. Before playing in their final home game, the Lady Bulldogs hosted a ceremony honoring loved ones impacted by all different types of cancer, also wearing pink ribbons and socks as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Andy Bockelman

Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School sports teams are thinking pink this month. sports teams are thinking pink this month.

Moffat County High School sports teams are thinking pink this month.

As part of the nationwide effort during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Bulldog athletes have been wearing plenty of pink in their uniforms, including boys soccer, volleyball and football.

The pigskin team first started sporting their traditional October pink socks during their away game against Battle Mountain but opted to stick with blue and white dress to remain clad in school colors for Homecoming Friday night against Basalt. The guys of the gridiron will be clad in their flashy footwear for the next three games, and they possibly will take it another step next season, said head coach Keith Gille.

“We want to do a game next year with all pink jerseys,” he said.

The coach’s wife, Jeanette, said she appreciates the effort as a survivor of melanoma, and something as simple as wearing a lot of pink really can make a difference when getting the average person to think about their health.

“You never know, it really could happen to anyone,” she said.

On the soccer field, the Bulldog boys had their pink in the form of headbands, armbands and other athletic gear, while the girls on the volleyball court wore the color from head to toe, with pink hair ribbons and their own set of stockings provided by The Memorial Hospital.

This past Thursday, the volleyball teams concluded their home season with an official pink game, and before the varsity squad took the court, players and coaches held a moment of silence for a list of people impacted by the disease, opening it up to breast cancer survivors and victims as well as those who have experienced other forms.

Shannon Samuelson, a leukemia survivor who underwent treatment from 2008 to 2009, helped coordinate the list of names read off before the game.

“Cancer is cancer,” she said, noting that players wanted to honor parents, grandparents, aunts, friends and more who had been hit with the condition.

Shannon’s daughter, Emma, presented her with a flower during the ceremony, as did other girls on the team with their loved ones, though not all could be present to accept it first-hand.

Josie Timmer said her grandpa, Gordon Dettmer, who lives in Kansas, was unable to attend the game due to his current struggle with cancer.

“He’s not doing very well, so just being able to play for him tonight was special to me,” she said.

Charli Earle was pleased to have her grandma, Loretta, in the gym to honor as a survivor.

“It’s an important battle, and it’s a long fight,” Charli said.

Head coach Starla Jensen had multiple acquaintances on the list, one friend who succumbed to cancer and two more who have had a diagnosis, as well as her sister-in-law, Norma.

“It gets emotional, and the older you get the more people there are who have touched you,” Jensen said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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