Coaches, players taking on cancer
BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Coaches vs. Cancer of NEPA will kick off its annual Suits and Sneakers campaign on Monday, but with a twist.
What is usually known as Suits and Sneakers Weekend, will now be Suits and Sneakers Week, running from Monday, Jan. 28, to Saturday, Feb. 2.
The change to a full week comes as a result of a new alignment in the Lackawanna League, increasing the league from three to four divisions.
Coaches vs. Cancer of NEPA, now in its fifth year, has involvement from all schools in Wyoming and Susquehanna counties including Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose, Mountain View and Susquehanna, along with 36 other schools.
‘Suits and Sneakers Week’ is an event where all schools in District II will have games in which coaches will wear suits with sneakers, and PIAA Officials, who are also involved in the cause, will wear white shoes instead of black all in the name of spreading cancer awareness.
Andrew Kettel, Lackawanna Trail boys’ basketball head coach and chairman of the Wyoming Valley Conference/Lackawanna League Coaches vs. Cancer Committee, said the goal is to raise awareness for cancer and to raise money for charity.
Kettel said that there is a lot of enthusiasm about the charity going into Suits and Sneakers Week.
“We have a lot of enthusiasm going into the event,” Kettel said.
He said with corporate sponsorships and the sale of more than 3,000 t-shirts, he believes the organization has a shot at reaching its $100,000 goal for this year.
Last year, it raised $82,000 for cancer research.
Last weekend, a print, radio and television advertising campaign went live with Fox 56, MyNetwork, ESPN Radio and the Scranton Times-Tribune all carrying ads for Coaches vs. Cancer.
“Raising funds is a huge part of what we do,” Kettel said. “But one of the other main goals of the organization is to get into schools and raise awareness with the student population and encourage them to make healthy decisions.”
Lackawanna Trail will host a double-header with Mountain View on Saturday, Feb. 2, to raise money for the charity.
At Tunnel Hill at 1 p.m. the Lions will take on the Lady Eagles, followed by the boys’ game at 2:30 p.m. with the Lions facing Mountain View.
Both games will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 630.
Also, the MyNetwork will air a pair of games, the first on Thursday, Jan. 31, between the West Scranton girls and the Valley View girls at 7 p.m., followed by the Wyoming Valley West boys taking on Crestwood on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m.
Kettel said the growth of the Coaches vs. Cancer charity in the past few years is because of the tireless efforts of the people involved.
“We continue to grow because of the hard work of the volunteers and student athletes, along with our corporate sponsors,” Kettel said. “There are just some great people involved with high school basketball and it rings true every year.”
Monday, Jan. 28 – Elk Lake at Mt. View, 7:30 p.m.; Trail at Riverside, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Tunkhannock at Wyoming Valley West, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30 –Elk Lake home against Forest City, 6 p.m.; Trail at Susquehanna, 6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1 – Blue Ridge home against Elk Lake, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2 –Trail home against Mt. View, 2:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 28 – Tunkhannock home against Wyoming Valley West, 7:10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Elk Lake at Mt. View, 6:45 p.m.; Trail home against Riverside, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 31 –Elk Lake at Forest City, 6 p.m.; Trail home against Susquehanna, 7 p.m.; Tunkhannock at Berwick, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2 – Elk Lake home against Blue Ridge, 6 p.m.; Trail home against Mt. View, 1 p.m.; Tunkhannock home against Berwick, 7:15 p.m.