It’s just a normal Friday night game, lots of excited fans and parents, a hyped band, and a hyped football team, except blended with the navy school colors, the stands are also filled with yellow shirts, representing the “Gold Out” theme for the game. Something is different tonight from normal games, on the back of every player’s helmet is a small gold sticker with a name handwritten across it.
The players placed these stickers on their helmets to honor local victims who have fought or are fighting the battle of pediatric cancer.
“I felt like I was really showing support for people who were put in situations they can’t control,” junior Collen Covington said. “I feel like they really feel good when we do these things to know that they are not alone.”
Covington, along with other varsity players, placed three different names on their helmets: Autumn, Walker and Jarren, the names of children battling pediatric cancer.
One of the victims, Autumn Switzer, is a 17-year-old girl who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue cancer that has spread to both of her lungs. Her family, friends, and the community recently got together to make bracelets reading “God’s got this,” along with a Go Fund Me (www.gofundme.com/f/autumn-switzer-medical-fund?pc) to raise money for her medical funds.
“I know Autumn from church and she is always so excited to see me and makes a huge effort to make everyone feel loved,” sophomore Brittany Johnson said. “She is so positive and we all love her and support her through everything.”
After this game, some of the players thought this idea should be a tradition to keep the support going for each kid.
“I would love to continue to do this,” Covington said. “It is amazing when communities come together to support one another.”
At the Gold Out volleyball games Sept. 24, the players will recognize and honor Switzer.