Tuesday was Dig Pink Night at Kellogg High School and the students and staff from both KHS and Wallace Jr/Sr High School got in on the inspirational fun.
Dig Pink Night is a Kellogg High School fundraiser that promotes breast cancer awareness while mixing in the fun rivalry between the Wildcat and Miner volleyball teams.
The event is humbling for Kellogg coach Hollie Yrjana who enjoys seeing her players acknowledge the world outside of high school and getting involved in the planning and preparation for the event.
“I believe it is very important for our athletes to be involved in things that are greater than themselves, to learn about and contribute to real world issues, and to just be giving people,” Yrjana said. “Our athletes love the Dig Pink Night. They took on decorating by themselves and handed out pink footballs to those in our community that they knew were affected by cancer. It's heartwarming to see how compassionate they are.”
Wallace coach Anali Spooner was in agreement with Yrjana, when discussing why nights and events like these are important life lessons for high school athletes.
“I think it's important to see that there are other things going on in people's lives other than school, or volleyball, or what have you,” Spooner said. “In the past we have gotten shirts made with women's names on them who are either going to the breast cancer battle now, or have gone through it. And in our community now there are many people battling the fight against cancer, and it's just a good eye opener for all of us and a good way to help support anyone battling cancer and showing support to those who have beat it.”
Oh yeah, there was a game too…
It should come as no surprise that a group of Miners were able to find success on Dig Pink Night, and they did just that, knocking off Kellogg in a 5-set classic (25-22, 18-25, 15-25, 25-20, and 16-14).
Kellogg struggled with serving and the Miners took full advantage of it early, however the ‘Cats would rally in the second and third sets before Wallace would win the fourth and fifth.
Coach Yrjana thought the game went pretty well despite the loss.
“We played with great energy and hustle tonight, both sides did actually,” Yrjana said. “We really struggled in the serving area, we missed 15 serves. I do think Kat (Rauenhorst) and Kaili (Cates) had outstanding nights for us though.”
The event was bigger than one game though, and that was the point Yrjana had hoped would be driven home, especially when four ladies from the two schools volunteered to have several feet of hair chopped off prior to the game.
“The purpose is to raise awareness,” Yrjana said. “It was great to see both the community and student participate. The crowd was littered with pink shirts to show support. The hair will be donated to Wigs for Kids. KHS will donate half of the gate proceeds to the Susan G. Komen charity.”
Both teams will now be moving into their district competition with eyes on berths into the state tournaments, but no matter what happens the rest of the season, they will always have the night they made a difference.