Football team raises cancer awareness at homecoming

There's a trend of sportsmanship in high school athletics this year and La Cañada High is getting in on the action.

The Spartans football team did its best to tackle breast cancer during homecoming week before it squared off against South Pasadena Friday night. The team raised funds, getting donations and pledges for every point it scored, and sported pink attire while on field to generate awareness.

"One of the big things we wanted to do was make sure our guys are giving and not just taking," Coach Dan Yoder said.

Spearheading the event was Joanne Davidson, La Cañada's assistant principal.

"I think it's important for the boys to be involved in the community and try to give back," Davidson said. "They were open to the cause and very open to helping other people and that says a lot about their character."

The goal was to raise $2,000 to help fight breast cancer throughout the week.

"We set the bar really low, we're definitely going to go over $2,000," Davidson said. "We have some serious pledges."

Sportsmanship doesn't end with La Cañada football. Both the volleyball and softball teams put on an event during the season to fight breast cancer. The Spartans girls' volleyball team is hosting its second-annual Dig for the Cure today against South Pasadena. The team takes pledges the week before for each dig it has during the match.

Davidson's goal is for philanthropy to become a year-round exhibition for La Cañada athletics.

"We are going to do something during the basketball season, so it's something that will be year-round," Davidson said. "I don't think we will be doing anything with breast cancer in the winter. I think we will go in the direction of helping the homeless, since it's around Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Craig Franzen, La Cañada's athletic director, said one of his goals when he came in as athletic director this year was to expand and link up sports and charity.

"It's becoming part of what we do here," Franzen said. "This is kind of a nationwide thing that's happening, and it's great. Making these kids aware and doing a little community service, even while they're still playing, I couldn't ask for anything more."

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