Mercyhurst College’s football team added extra motivation for success this season by “Making a Point to Take Away Cancer.”
Head coach Marty Schaetzle decided to personally donate $1 for every point scored and $5 for every takeaway (interception and fumble recovered) during the 2010 season.
The team will donate based on the same guidelines.
Schaetzle was inspired during summer camp to aid in the battle against cancer.
“It [was] a combination of hearing something, seeing an ad and hearing about other coaches doing something,” Schaetzle said.
This combination prompted him to think of what could be done through football.
I came up with the slogan, ‘Make a Point to Take Away Cancer,’ [and] it covered all the possibilities and tied into football,” Schaetzle said.
The players accepted this campaign without hesitation.
“I think it’s great. We have a couple guys on this team, myself included, that are faced with devastation of cancer,” senior quarterback Garrett Kensy said. “Ninety percent of the guys on the team have been affected by cancer personally, whether it be a friend, family member or anything like that. I think it’s great to all rally together and give back.”
Both Kensy and junior offensive linemam Jeffory Pollard are cancer survivors.
In 2007, Kensy, a sophmore at the time, was diagnosed with cancer and missed the entire season.
Last season Pollard was diagnosed with with cancer and missed the 2009 season.
The connection that both of these players have formed through their fights with cancer is very strong.
The team has also formed a a special sensitivity to the battles fought by cancer patients as they have seen two teammates beat cancer
Both students, through support from the team and Schaetzle, have returned from these ordeals.
Kensy, the starting quarterback, has been an exceptional success story battling back from cancer.
The football team encourages other teams, students, faculty and members of the community to jump on board.
“[Many would benefit] if other teams would do a pledge and raise as much money as possible,” Schaetzle said.
“Hopefully, we can get a little momentum with the guys on the team and their families, and it catches fire throughout the year,” Kensy said.
Another member of the athletic community agrees.
“I am going to try and encourage my team, as well as my friends, to help out this cause,” senior baseball player Craig Denman said. “This is definitely something great that everyone schoolwide can get involved with and help out.”
The Mercyhurst Athletic website provides a link to those wishing to make donations to the initiative.
The John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation of Erie will receive the money raised by the “Make a Point to Take Away Cancer” initiative.