Coaches stand up to cancer
BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Local schools in PIAA District 2 have banded together for the second straight year to take part in the annual fundraising/awareness drive called “Coaches vs. Cancer.”
The organization was originally started at the NCAA level, and has caught on at the high school level locally with all 44 schools in District 2 taking part.
Locally, Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Lackawanna Trail Montrose, Mountain View, Tunkhannock and Susquehanna Community are all taking part.
Trail head coach Andrew Kettel is the chairman of the Wyoming Valley Conference/Lackawanna League
Coaches vs. Cancer Committee and has been helping spread awareness locally.
In addition to a season-opening Coaches vs. Cancer breakfast held back in January, there will be what is known as the “Suits and Sneakers Weekend” coming up on Jan. 28 and 29.
This is an event where all schools in District 2 will have games in which coaches will wear suits with sneakers, and PIAA Officials, who are also involved in the cause, will wear white shoes instead of black.
“It’s a great way to spread awareness about a disease that at one time or another has touched all of our lives,” Kettel said.
The Suits and Sneakers Weekend will kick off on Friday, Jan. 28, with girls varsity teams in both leagues playing fundraiser games, followed by boys’ fundraiser games on Saturday, Jan. 29.
Also, Lackawanna Trail will take on Mountain View at Marywood University on Saturday at 5 p.m. That game will be televised on the “MY9” network.
Following the Lackawanna Trail game will be Holy Cross vs. Dunmore at 7 p.m.
Kettel said that one great thing about the Coaches vs. Cancer charity is that the majority of the money raised stays in the local area.
“Only a small portion of the proceeds leaves the area,” Kettel said. “The majority stays here, with that small percentage going towards national research.”
This is Kettel’s third year as chairman and said that in the previous two years, more than $100,000 was raised.
Schools from District 2 can choose to set up fundraisers any way they choose and Kettel said that many schools sell t-shirts and bracelets, and have dress down days.
“It makes it fun for the students,” Kettel said.
For its work in raising money for the American Cancer Society last year, the committee received the Citation Award for Excellence for its efforts.
Kettel said its great that all the schools and PIAA Officials from District 2 have gotten together once again.
“Having everyone involved brings it all together,” Kettel said. “It’s not just the coaches and players, but the officials as well.
“The whole campaign just shows you how many great people there are in Northeast Pennsylvania.”
And while it may seem like a task to get 88 coaches from 44 schools involved in the cause, Kettel said that everyone jumped right on board.
“We just made some phone calls,” Kettel said. “We picked up the phone and called every coach we knew.”
Kettel, in addition to being chair of the WVC/LL Committee, is also a board member of the Lackawanna County chapter of the American Cancer Society and is a part of the national Coaches vs. Cancer High School committee.
In preparation for the Suits and Sneakers weekend, Kettel had a television commercial produced that runs on Fox56 and features himself and Mountain View coach Lawrence Tompkins, along with other coaches from District 2.