Raising Breast Cancer Awareness in UHS Pink Out Football Game

UHS Varsity Cheer shows support for breast cancer patients and survivors during the annual Pink Out game against Northwood High School.

Nikki Piedad, Staff Writer

The UHS Football team played their Pink Out game against Northwood High School on Oct. 7, the final non-league matchup of the season. The game represented the continual effort of the UHS football program and raised awareness for breast cancer research. Thanks to a few comeback plays in the second half, it ended in a loss of 22-41.

“It was an unfortunate score, but the team played really hard,” junior Minho Lee said.

Northwood started strong with two touchdowns in the first quarter, but the momentum swung briefly in the Trojans’ favor with junior Brooks Beckman intercepting a pass as the buzzer went off.

“It was a tough game, but I think we did what we could,” senior Tomas Arango said. “We definitely struggled [to cover] some things in defensive plays.”

The team fought through the second quarter, continuing to play hard but not quite making the plays needed as Northwood extended its lead. However, the stands were a constant supply of energy with cheers and celebration at each successful pass.

“Despite the score, I feel like our student section always shows spirit,” junior Riley Hertstein said. “I love how everyone dresses up in theme every time.”

Complete with pink outfits and face paint, most students went all-out in supporting school spirit alongside the worldwide breast cancer health campaign.

“Football games are a great way for the entire student community to come together and really just unite under one common goal,” junior Varin Gupta said.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the game’s Pink Out theme was a way for the student body to show support for a more serious issue. During halftime, the announcer spent a moment honoring doctors, cancer survivors and their families.

“I think it’s good in general when any club or high school raises awareness for breast cancer,” Hertstein said. “We’re trying to raise profits with the pink shirts we’re wearing tonight that people bought to support breast cancer research.”

Many felt the theme was effective in creating discussion around breast cancer research while maintaining the “hype” typically present in themed football games.

“The environment is really cool,” freshman Hudson Payne said. “Everyone gets really excited. [I] just wish we played a little bit better.”

The team was able to regroup after the second quarter as students filled the air with chants of “it ain’t over.” The show by the UHS Marching Band and Color Guard, as well as their spirit throughout the game, was another contributing factor in creating a more hopeful atmosphere for many.

“As the game went on in the second half we had a lot more energy, a lot more spirit,” sophomore Geoff Soriano said.

A few minutes into the half, a pass from junior Koa Saito to his teammate, junior Blaine Andersen, led to an 83-yard run and the Trojans’ first touchdown of the game.

“It was like a slant [route] or a dig in the middle and he just ran,” junior kicker Skye Murphy said. “It was . . . beautiful.”

The final points of the game came from a quick out pass from sophomore Zachary Malek to Murphy, the third touchdown for UHS. Although it wasn’t the win they wanted, team members did find a source of motivation to learn and progress as a team.

“It’s a little sad to see how the team performed, but I think it gives us more room to work with for the upcoming week in practice,” Saito said. “[We know] what our weaknesses are now. We can really try and hone in on those.”

The team’s view was mainly optimistic, thanks to their improvement in the second half.

“We’re on to next week, you know?” Murphy said. “League starts, we’re excited, we’re ready to get some wins.”

Most players feel that they’ve seen improvement in the football program throughout the season and are hopeful that that trend will continue.

“We have some plans for league that will really help us out in the long run,” Saito said. “I just hope that everybody starts coming to practice and really starts putting in work because we have a chance.”