Atomic City Update: Girl's soccer takes the field for a good cause

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By Phil Scherer

Often, the benefits of sports are seen as helping an individual gain more self-confidence and developing team building skills. They are often one of the most positive parts of our society, and offer a diversion from other parts of the world.

When someone steps into a football stadium or a baseball stadium or a basketball arena, they are able to step away from the world and enjoy a different version of reality for a few, short hours.

However, there are times when sports help to accomplish great things in the outside world. That is what the Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer program will be doing this week when they host their annual ‘Kick for the Cure’ game.

Each year, the program features one home game on its schedule and uses the profits from that game to donate money to cancer research. Donations will be collected during both the junior varsity and varsity games on Tuesday against Hope Christian High School.

The action will begin with the junior varsity match at 3:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow at 5 p.m.

This game will offer the public a chance to watch the LAHS girl’s soccer team, which has proven to be one of the top teams in the state, and at the same time help people around the world.

Initiatives similar to this are taking place in high schools around the country. This week began the “Touchdowns Against Cancer” nationwide across high school football.

Teams were given the chance to sign up for this program, which would give their fans a chance to donate a certain amount of money for each touchdown their team scores in games between Sept. 14 and Sept. 30.

More than 300 teams around the country are participating, including several from New Mexico, including Kirtland Central High School, Jemez Valley High School and Las Cruces High School.

All of the money raised will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Fans of teams that are not participating can still donate money to the cause as well by going to touchdownsagainstcancer.com.

The program was started last year, with around 200 teams participating nationwide. After it proved to be a success in its first run, it has gained even more momentum heading into its second year.

“We witnessed so many special moments last year with high school student-athletes and their communities pledging their performance on Friday nights to support children and their families fighting childhood cancer. Together, we raised over $100,000 for St. Jude and we’re excited about the overwhelming response to join this year’s Touchdowns Against Cancer program,” said Scott Shirley, Founder & CEO of Pledge It. “Together with MaxPreps, we can create opportunities for teams to make a positive impact and empower them to help St. Jude defeat childhood cancer.”

These types of initiatives are nothing new in sports, but they are just as important now as when they were first started.

Each year, Major League Baseball helps raise awareness and money for breast cancer on Mother’s Day and prostate cancer on Father’s Day with pink and blue apparel, respectively. The National Football League also raises awareness for breast cancer in October each year.

It is true; in most cases sports aren’t as important as other issues going on in the world. But sports do have the ability to unite a community and accomplish great things that have a positive impact on their community, as well as the world.

On Tuesday, that will be possible. If you can, I urge you to head out to Sullivan Field that night.

This is a fundraiser that has become very important and meaningful to both the program and the school, and is something that all of Los Alamos County can rally around.

You will have the opportunity to watch some great soccer and help raise the money that doctors need to find the cure for a disease that claims so many lives way too soon.