2017-02-17 / Community

City sports teams score in cancer fight


Members of the South Portland boys’ basketball team, who joined with girls’ basketball and ice hockey teams to raise more than $2,350 for cancer research through the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program are, from row, from left, Connor Buckley, Deandre White and Liam Coyne; middle row, from left, Henry Cyr, Ryan Porter, Spencer Houlette, Noah Malone, Moses Oreste, Ruay Bol, Ansel Stilley, and Riley Hasson; and, back row, from left, Cam Deiley, Kam Mallory and Ben Tucker. (Courtesy photo) Members of the South Portland boys’ basketball team, who joined with girls’ basketball and ice hockey teams to raise more than $2,350 for cancer research through the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program are, from row, from left, Connor Buckley, Deandre White and Liam Coyne; middle row, from left, Henry Cyr, Ryan Porter, Spencer Houlette, Noah Malone, Moses Oreste, Ruay Bol, Ansel Stilley, and Riley Hasson; and, back row, from left, Cam Deiley, Kam Mallory and Ben Tucker. (Courtesy photo) SOUTH PORTAND — Winter sports teams at South Portland High School, including the boys’ and girls basketball teams, and ice hockey players, have teamed UP to raise $2,351 for cancer research, through the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program.

Although the American Cancer Society is the nation’s largest volunteer health organization, with the efforts of 2.5 million people helping to drive down U.S. cancer death rates by 22 percent since 1991, it still relies heavily on small, grassroots efforts.

“The growing involvement with Coaches vs. Cancer at this school is wonderful,” said program manager, Brian Casalinova. “The support from the administration straight down to the coaches, athletes and boosters has been tremendous. It is that kind of support that helps the American Cancer Society continue our life-saving mission. We look forward to our continued partnership into the future.”

Boys’ basketball coach Kevin Millington said he got his team involved because of the affect cancer had on him personally.

“For me, cancer hits pretty close to home,” he said. “My father was the biggest influence in my life and the reason I became a coach. However, he never got to see me coach a varsity basketball game, as he passed away from colon cancer during my first season in 1998. My only real regret is not being able to share this experience with him because he would have loved it. So by supporting a cause like Coaches vs. Cancer it allows me to connect a little with him.”

“The Coaches vs. Cancer national campaign allows all of our athletic programs to unite and join in the fight against cancer,” Athletic Director Todd Linvingston said. “It is an opportunity for the athletic department, coaches, student athletes and boosters to participate in a unified community service project and a very worthy cause. The South Portland community has endured many cancer-related deaths and illnesses recently, and participating in this campaign allows us to join together as a community to fight this terrible disease.”

Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide program founded by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Since its inception in 1993, high school and college coaches across the country have raised more than $100 million for cancer research.

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