Ben­e­fit hon­ors long­time Tow­son coach

Play­ers set up event, raise $900 for re­search into the can­cer that’s sidelin­ing Dase

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Glen­nGra­hamSun

Tow­son’s long­time soc­cer coach, Randy Dase, isn’t one to get overly emo­tional, but this past Mon­day was dif­fer­ent.

Dase, 62, hasn’t been with the team this sea­son, mak­ing a suc­cess­ful re­cov­ery from prostate can­cer. A week af­ter surgery Sept. 1, he was deemed can­cer-free and is set to re­turn to the Tow­son side­line (and the class­room where he has taught for 40 years) on Oct. 13.

Un­til then, it was im­por­tant for his play­ers to make sure he knew how much they’ve been think­ing about the 29th-year Tow­son coach.

On Sept. 21, the Gen­er­als turned the game against Spar­rows Point into a ben­e­fit night for men’s can­cer aware­ness. They won, 2-1, the ju­nior var­sity also won, and they raised $900, all do­nated to the Brady Uro­log­i­cal In­sti­tute at Johns Hop­kins Hospi­tal in honor of their coach.

It was a sur­prise to Dase un­til team cap­tains Adam Co­plai, Jack Baker and Austin Kirts stopped by his house Mon­day with pho­tos and a re­cap of the event.

When Dase says that is the nicest honor he has ever re­ceived as a coach, it cov­ers a lot of ground. The 1972 Tow­son grad­u­ate, a char­ter mem­ber of the school’s Ath­letic Hall of Fame, played soc­cer, bas­ket­ball and lacrosse, and has also coached all three sports. On Mon­day, he couldn’t help him­self. “I looked at the pic­tures and just started bawl­ing, so they watched a grown man cry for about five min­utes,” he said. “It was player-driven and they only had six or seven days to get go­ing with it. So I was very proud and very hon­ored that they pulled off an event that was so highly suc­cess­ful.”

Since Septem­ber is Na­tional Prostate Can­cer Aware­ness Month, the idea of host­ing a ben­e­fit night was the way the play­ers wanted to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their coach. They reached out to ath­letic di­rec­tor Justin Nash, who agreed to lower the ad­mis­sion cost to $1, with all pro­ceeds go­ing to the do­na­tion. They also put out a do­na­tion box at the en­trance and the booster club agreed to give all con­ces­sions earned to the cause. The play­ers from both Tow­son and Spar­rows Point wore plas­tic blue wrist­bands.

“We wanted to do some­thing to honor him be­cause he’s been do­ing this for 40 years Randy Dase and he re­ally gets to all of us. He’s a men­tor to us all and not just a coach,” said Co­plai, who is in his third year on var­sity. “We fig­ured a great way to do that would be hav­ing the game so we could both give aware­ness to can­cer that af­fects a lot of men and also honor him and show him he’s not alone in this. We’re all be­hind him.” Like Dase, Nash was moved. “It was re­ally in­spir­ing to see them all work to­gether. From start to fin­ish, the boys or­ga­nized the whole night,” he said. “Ev­ery­one was on board, the kids were ex­cited about do­ing it, and it showed how­muchthey cared about their coach and want­ing to do some­thing for him to show their sup­port.”

The boys have made their coach proud on the field as well, show­ing they’re suc­cess­fully work­ing to­gether with a 6-1-2 mark. As­sis­tant coach Jon Becker has run the team while Dase has been on leave.

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