TOWNSEND — The torrential downpour may have kept the spectators away from the North Middlesex football game on the evening of Friday, Oct. 19, but the players, cheerleaders and coaches alike kept their heads high and pursued their mission despite the dismal weather.
“It poured so bad, it was absolutely ridiculous. It was like a monsoon out there,” said cheerleading coach Barbara Guerriero. “They (the team) played a good fight, I can tell you that much. But (the rain) was unbelievable. My girls were wringing out their sweatshirts.”
Although Hudson snagged the victory 27-7, the players on the field were fighting for more than just a win. That evening was the team’s Coaches v. Cancer fundraiser. All week, members of the football team sold sponsor cards for $1 apiece, the proceeds of which went to the American Cancer Society. Sponsors were able to write their names on the cards, or the names of loved ones who have struggled with cancer. The cards were then compiled on the team’s locker room wall before the game.
“They put them up in the locker room prior to the game just to think of some inspiration and realize the game is more than a regular football game,” said the American Cancer Society’s Coaches v. Cancer coordinator Janice Portlock.
Then, at the game itself, the players sported pink socks and wristbands on the field in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Meanwhile, the cheerleaders canvassed the stands, collecting funds from spectators to be put towards the cause. Due to the weather, the fundraising was cut short.
“I had to send (the cheerleaders) home at halftime because they were standing in two inches of water,” said Guerriero. “They have a competition on Saturday so I really couldn’t have them getting sick,” she said at the time.
In total, the team collected $79. Because the low turnout, the team continued to collect funds the following week and amade their next game an extension of the Coaches v. Cancer fundraiser as well.
In addition to the funds raised by the football team, the cheerleaders raised $700 during their annual Pink Week. The proceeds go to the American Cancer Society’s Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Although the amount did not reach the team’s goal to exceed their previous year’s $3,000, Guerriero and the squad are still happy to be able to collect what they can for the cause, especially given the slow economy.
“It’s been a slow couple of weeks because some parents are not working. We’ve appreciated every penny we’ve received,” said Guerriero. “There are a lot of families in need. Every penny counts.”
As for the efforts of the cheerleaders, Guerriero said they’ve done a commendable job on the fundraising.
“I’m very proud of them,” she said. “They just keep going.”