When high school basketball coaches take to the court this week, something might look a little bit off as far as fashion is concerned.
Players and coaches from around the Lackawanna League and Wyoming Valley Conference will be participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer annual ‘Suits and Sneakers Weekend’, which kicked off Monday, Jan. 27.
Division II teams from across the area will host games to promote cancer awareness when coaches wear sneakers and PIAA officials wear white shoes instead of black.
Coaches vs. Cancer NEPA is in its sixth year and has involvement from all schools across Wyoming and Susquehanna counties.
The boys’ basketball team hosted its Coaches vs. Cancer night against Mountain View on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
For the fourth straight year, the Warriors planned a ‘black out’ before the game. Those in attendance were given glow sticks and the lights were turned off while a short program was held that recognized cancer survivors and remembered those who had lost their battle with cancer.
Terry Blaisure, an advisor for the Builders Club who is charge of the program, is one of the organizers in creating events to help raise cancer awareness for the district.
“We are all very excited because we have had a record-breaking year in our fundraising for this cause,” Blaisure said.
In a Coaches vs. Cancer Dance-A-Thon on Nov. 8, over $4,300 were raised from the 225 students from seventh through 12th grade who participated. Blaisure, along with boys’ basketball head coach John Warnero and assistant coach Marc Weisgold, also received a plaque commemorating their support at the Coaches vs. Cancer breakfast in November.
“It’s a great thing for our district to help spread awareness for a disease that touches everyone,” Warnero said. “We’re very blessed to be able to do it, and Terry does a wonderful job in her relentless pursuit of ways to raise money and awareness and get the buzz going. She’s a great pioneer for Elk Lake and the Coaches vs. Cancer venue.”
The Lackawanna Trail high school girls and boys basketball teams will host a doubleheader against Mountain View on Saturday, Feb. 1, in recognition of ‘Suits and Sneakers.
The girls’ game will kick off at 1 p.m. with the boys’ game to follow at 2:30 p.m.. No junior varsity games will be played.
Trail boys basketball coach Jason Nese is excited for a packed gym and a great afternoon of basketball.
“Hopefully we’ll get a big crowd and raise a lot of money for a great cause,” Nese said.
The Tunkhannock Area girls’ basketball team will host its Coaches vs. Cancer game against Pittston Area on Feb. 3.
The Lady Tigers will wear pink warmups as part of their fifth annual ‘Pink Out’ game, and assistant coach John Duffy plans to dye his goatee pink to show his support.
There will be $5 basket raffles which have been donated by some community businesses and parents. All proceeds from the raffle will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Tickets for the basket raffles can be purchased at the game or pre-bought from team members.
Thursday, Jan. 30 –Trail at Forest City, 6 p.m.; Susquehanna at Trail, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Blue Ridge at Elk Lake, 6 p.m.; Mt. View at Trail, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 29 – Forest City at Elk Lake, 6 p.m.; Trail at Susquehanna, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 30 – Berwick at Tunkhannock, 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 31 – Elk Lake at Blue Ridge, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Mt. View at Trail, 1 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 3 – Montrose at Elk Lake, 6 p.m.; Forest City at Trail, 6 p.m.; Pittston at Tunkhannock, 6 p.m.