Rome Wolves will be play­ing for a cause

The foot­ball team is sup­port­ing breast cancer aware­ness.

Rome News-Tribune - - NEWS - By Kristina Wilder Rome City Schools

Keep a sharp eye out this evening at Rome High’s home­com­ing foot­ball game, and you’ll see play­ers proudly wear­ing a small, but ex­tremely im­por­tant, sym­bol on their hel­mets.

The pink rib­bon de­cals, sig­ni­fy­ing Breast Cancer Aware­ness, have a huge mean­ing to the team, ac­cord­ing to John Reid, Rome High’s head foot­ball coach.

“If our play­ers wear a de­cal, it is earned,” Reid said.

The team has def­i­nitely earned the rib­bons. Since Mon­day, the play­ers have been rais­ing money to do­nate to Floyd Med­i­cal Cen­ter for Breast Cancer Aware­ness Month.

They’ve raised more than $1,500 and Reid will present the check to FMC rep­re­sen­ta­tives at tonight’s game against Cass High dur­ing half­time, he ex­plained. The game is be­ing played at Bar­ron Sta­dium.

“We went around, ask­ing fam­ily and teach­ers to do­nate to help us,” said se­nior Jack­son Nor­ton, a mem­ber of the Wolves’ of­fen­sive line. “For me, per­son­ally, cancer has not af­fected my im­me­di­ate fam­ily, but there are sev­eral peo­ple in my church who have dealt with it and it has been dev­as­tat­ing. Any­thing I can do to help, I will.”

Se­nior JaMar­cus Chat­man of the Wolves’ de­fen­sive line said he and his team­mates are just proud to be help­ing peo­ple who have made it through cancer or are bat­tling it now.

“Peo­ple in my fam­ily have sur­vived cancer,” he said. “That’s a big ac­com­plish­ment.”

The young men said they were happy that their coach wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“Be­fore Coach Reid came, we were just wear­ing pink stuff, like socks or some­thing,” Chat­man ex­plained. “Col­lect­ing money to do­nate ac­tu­ally makes a dif­fer­ence.”

Reid said he felt the young men needed to un­der­stand

the cause it­self, not just wear pink shoes or socks or wrist­bands.

“I want our kids to be aware and for them to know they can give back, be­cause our com­mu­nity has given so much to us,” Reid said. “I felt that just wear­ing some­thing pink, they lost the fo­cus and it just was about adorn­ments.”

Last year, the money the team raised and do­nated to FMC helped 10 women — who would not have been able to af­ford it oth­er­wise — get breast ex­ams, Reid said.

“The kids were proud when I told them that,” Reid said. “They are a team and work as one. They jump on this now and are ex­cited when they

raise more than ex­pected.”

Chat­man and Nor­ton agreed that they are proud to see so many of their younger team­mates en­thu­si­as­ti­cally rais­ing money for the cause.

“I was shocked how will­ing the younger play­ers were to give and raise money,” Nor­ton said. “It was in­spir­ing to see.”

The two will grad­u­ate in 2018, but feel com­fort­able pass­ing the fundrais­ing tra­di­tion on, and have words of wis­dom for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“Don’t ever think you’re too young to make a dif­fer­ence,” Nor­ton ad­vised. “Lots of peo­ple think they have time to do things like this when they’re older, but why wait?”

Kristina Wilder / Rome City Schools

Play­ers Jack­son Nor­ton (left) and JaMar­cus Chat­man and coach John Reid look at a pink rib­bon on a Rome hel­met.

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