Jamestown, Warhill field hockey teams play for a cure

—The Warhill and Jamestown field hockey teams each hosted games this week designated to raise awareness and money for fighting cancer.

There will be similar scenes across the local sports landscape this month as teams don pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For the second consecutive season, Warhill's field hockey team called an audible and broadened their annual breast cancer awareness night to include all forms of cancer. So again, they traded pink for purple and after last year honoring Joe Schulz, the father of a team member, the Lions played Monday in wins over New Kent for the father of head coach Kristen Boykin.

Boykin's father, Bob Castano, died of cancer just last month and plans by her players to honor him were in the works before the season, even though Kristen didn't know it.

The Castanos hail from northeastern Pennsylvania and Bob took pleasure in watching Kristen coach since he coached her as a youth.

"The girls only met him a couple of times so it was really cool that they still really took the time to put into it," Boykin said.

Castano was diagnosed in March, but made Kristen's wedding in July before entering hospice a month later.

Before the match, Warhill had another surprise left for its coach, standing in a circle and releasing balloons to the sky after athletic director Dan Mullen relayed Castano's story to the crowd.

"It's amazing how the whole family (atmosphere) thing transfers down from year to year," Boykin said. "The girls really look out for each other and respect us as coaches. They're a good bunch."

There was no mistaking it was Jamestown's Play for a Cure Night Tuesday against Smithfield. The entrance to Wanner Stadium was redecorated with pink balloons and the Eagles' teams were dressed in pink from head to toe.

There was a raffle, bake sale and dunking booth with all of the gameday donations benefiting Beyond Boobs.

Jamestown junior varsity coach Tabatha Hunt said her team had been looking forward to the festive night since the start of the season.

"We really wanted to put forth as much effort as we could to make this as big as possible," she said.

"There's more hype because we're excited about what we're playing for," said Jamestown sophomore central defender Hannah Montero of the JV squad. "And we're grateful that we're able to play while some people aren't. It's appreciation for what we have."

Jamestown's JV team scored a 3-1 in over Smithfield for its third Bay Rivers District win of the season while the varsity Eagles fell 2-1.

Abby Smith netted the goal for Jamestown's varsity team, which head coach Jen Schrum said is showing great improvement from a season ago.

Schrum said Tuesday's contest stood out because it brings both teams together to support a worthy cause.

"Having a pink-out game is also the opportunity for our teams to let individuals that are, or have, battled breast cancer know that we are in admiration of them for fighting so hard," she said.

Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.

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