Playing for bigger cause


Sydnie Harrell, Staff Writer

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the high school students have shown their support for those who have been affected and are battling breast cancer. Two women, each with a child in the athletic program, were diagnosed with breast cancer recently. The volleyball and football programs have both shown they are playing for something bigger than themselves.

“Finding out that two moms in our community were diagnosed was heartbreaking,” senior Alissa Stehle said. “Playing the upcoming games, our mind-set was changed knowing that we had to fight for those who couldn’t, even if it’s just a game to some people.”

Every year, the volleyball program has a “Dig Pink” volleyball game where the players and crowd dress in pink to promote Breast Cancer Awareness.

“The Dig Pink game is different than any other game because we are playing for a cause that has affected the community,” junior Kaylee Howard said.

Earlier this year, Mrs. Carrie McLaughlin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before the varsity game this year, the volleyball girls brought out a sign that said “We play for Carrie” and flowers to give her. Stehle had the idea to make the sign earlier that week.

“After Coach Mac had asked me to make something that would show our support to Carrie, I was ecstatic,” Stehle said. “I immediately started thinking of how I should design the poster, and I asked people for a second opinion. I’m really glad Carrie was there and that she appreciated our gesture.”

The entire volleyball team signed the poster. Neither daughter Heidi McLaughlin or mom Mrs. McLaughlin were expecting the sign.

“It felt good to know that people care about my mom and my family,” Heidi said. “I was brought to tears and felt so thankful.”

The football players kept the same positive mind-set regarding senior Grant Collins mom, Collye Collins. She was also recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Grant’s mom views us as her own children,” senior Jose Seguin said. “She is always there to support not only her son, but the whole team as well.”

The football boys have been wearing pink sweatbands on their wrists throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but they wanted to do a little bit more for Mrs. Collins because they think of her as a team mom. At the homecoming pep rally, the team presented Mrs. Collins with a poster, balloons and flowers.

“When they brought out the poster for my mom, I was speechless,” senior Grant Collins said. “I couldn’t help but get a little bit emotional.”

In addition to the poster, Mrs. Brandy Perez took orders for pink football t-shirts for the students and crowd to wear for the “pink-out” football game against Crystal City.

“Since the announcement of Mrs. Collin’s breast cancer, the football players wanted to show support for her and other that are also affected by cancer,” senior Mason Perez said. “My mom had the shirts made to help get the word out that Devine football players care about more than football.”

Both the volleyball and football teams dedicated all of their October games to playing for Breast Cancer Awareness and are supporting Mrs. McLaughlin and Mrs. Collins through this.

“The community has done a lot for my mom and family by showing their support and offering continuous prayers,” Grant said. “It makes our family extremely happy to know that we have so many people that care about us in this time of need.”