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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Soccer (G), Soccer (B)
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Cretin-Derham Hall
Park of Cottage Grove

Park, CDH partner for leukemia awareness

By Phil Kuemmel, Activities Director, Park HS

The Park of Cottage Grove High School girls soccer team poses for a team photo wearing orange warmup shirts. The shirts were auctioned to raise money for leukemia awareness. Submitted photo courtesy Phil Kuemmel, Activities Director, Park of Cottage Grove High School.

Last week our boys and girls soccer teams partnered with Cottage Grove United Soccer to sponsor a Fight Leukemia Night.

Both teams were facing conference foe Cretin-Derham Hall, and it was CGAA Night at the games, meaning all youth soccer players were admitted free if they wore their CGAA jersey. The soccer booster clubs were selling orange (the color representing leukemia awareness) Wolfpack shirts. Anyone purchasing a shirt for $10 also received free admission into the game.

The MSHSL does not allow teams to alter the color of their game jerseys, so the teams were not allowed to wear orange jerseys, but they did wear orange warm-up jerseys before the game and orange socks.

Throughout the first half of each game, a silent auction was held where the fans could bid on the warm-up jerseys worn by each of the players. The players signed the jerseys at the end of the night for the fan who bid the most. Of course, most of the parents of the players bid the most so they could have their child’s jersey and raise a lot of money for a great cause.

All of the money raised from the night will go to the Leukemia Society. There are still a few t-shirts and jerseys available for sale from any of the girls coaching staff.

The highlight of the evening came at halftime of the girls game. The reason for this event is that three members of the Wolfpack soccer family (past, present, and future) have recently been affected by cancer. Sara Eberhardt graduated in 2009 and was a manager for the varsity team for many years, Brianna Wukawitz currently plays on the ninth grade team (and is battling leukemia), and third grader Paige Pedersen plays for Cottage Grove United.

Each of these girls spoke at halftime and talked about their survival stories. I must say there were not many dry eyes in the stands. The stands were packed, and to make the night a complete success, both Wolfpack teams won, with the boys beating the Raiders 4-1 and the girls winning 3-0 (freshmen Maddie Castro and Carlie Williams scored their first goals of their varsity careers).

Thank you to girls assistant coach Sarah Neitz for organizing the event, and all of the Park coaches and parents who helped out. It truly was a great night for a great cause.

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