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Warrior Teams Fight Breast Cancer with Pink-Out

The Waldorf Warriors and Bellevue Bruins volleyball teams warm up for their match Saturday wearing the Pink-Out shirts. Photo by Diana Stetson

By: Diana Stetson

Sports teams from the high school level to the pros, like the NFL, will join in the fight against breast cancer this month, and the Warriors are no exception.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Waldorf’s athletic teams joined forces to raise awareness and money for breast cancer by hosting Pink-Out events at three Warrior home games.

The idea for the department-wide effort came from volleyball coach, Bri Ebenhoe, whose team hosts No. 20 Bellevue on Saturday night at the Hanson Fieldhouse. Earlier in the day, the Warrior football team hosts No. 16 Dickinson State at Bolstorff Field, and the Waldorf men’s soccer team hosted Providence at Forest City High School.

“It seemed like a great time to get a whole bunch of teams on board to support cancer awareness and to support a great cause,” Ebenhoe said.

Coaches, players and fans had the chance to buy, “Dig, Kick, Tackle Pink” t-shirts. The money raised from sales went to the American Cancer Society.

Not only did the Warriors join in the fight, but also, the Bruin volleyball team bought shirts. Both teams wore during the shirts during warm-ups prior to Saturday’s match.

Ebenhoe has a special motivation to promote the Pink-Out, too.

“My grandmother had breast cancer; she found out when she went in and was told when she was pregnant with my youngest aunt,” Ebenhoe said.

Ebenhoe’s grandmother was given the option to have the baby or fight cancer.

“Cancer back then was a death sentence anyways, so my grandma said, ‘I’m having my baby,’” Ebenhoe said.

Ebenhoe added that her grandmother ended up beating cancer, as well, and her aunt, Jennifer, now is a doctor at the Mayo Clinic.

“It’s kind of one of those stories that you get the happy ending that you don’t expect,” Ebenhoe said.

The men’s soccer assistant coach, Adam Schmoker, also enjoyed a similar happy ending as his mom, Angie, and grandmother, Rita, each battled and beat breast cancer–making Saturday a special day for him.

“I think it’s important to be a part of breast cancer awareness as my mom and grandmother are breast cancer survivors, so this game is for them and everyone who has dealt with cancer,” Schmoker said. “My mom went through a very hard couple years fighting the cancer while still going to every single one of me and my three brothers games, so dedicating just one game to her isn’t enough credit, but it feels good.”

The Warrior football team, no stranger to supporting worthy causes, also joined the fight.

On Sept. 29, Waldorf raised funds and awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy as part of Coach to Cure MD, and coach Josh Littrell jumped at the chance to team up with his fellow coaches for Pink-Out.

“We’re trying to bring as much awareness as possible to people who have been affected by breast cancer and then to educate the people– especially our young kids, because they’re going to be affected by it someday, maybe, in some shape or form,” Littrell said. “So I think it’s a good thing we’re doing it, and it has a good meaning behind it.”

Along with t-shirt sales, the volleyball team also ran a by-donation bake sale on Saturday, and all together the Warriors raised more than $300 for the American Cancer Society.