Caledonia High School’s Ansley Brown and New Hope High’s Kensley Woolbright make passes as Brianna Terry looks on in the inaugural Dig Pink match between the schools last year. The teams will play the second-annual match at approximately 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at New Hope High. Photo by: Dispatch File Photo
Caledonia High School’s Ansley Brown and New Hope High’s Kensley Woolbright make passes as Brianna Terry looks on in the inaugural Dig Pink match between the schools last year. The teams will play the second-annual match at approximately 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at New Hope High.
Photo by: Dispatch File Photo
October 1, 2018 10:51:12 AM
CALEDONIA -- Allison Woolbright is ready to unleash a wave of pink in the New Hope High School's new gymnasium.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Caledonia and New Hope high school volleyball teams will take the court in the second-annual Dig Pink match to raise money, to raise awareness, and to recognize and to honor breast cancer survivors. To coincide with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, players will wear pink, the color associated with the fight against breast cancer. There also will be pink throughout the gym as the schools continue a tradition that started last year with a match between the teams at Caledonia High.
"There were people who came up to me after the game that I didn't know were there who told me, 'Thank you so much. It meant a lot,' " Woolbright said. "People I went to church with and people out of the blue also said something. That was surprising, and then we had a huge crowd from both schools. We hope to fill up both sides of the bleachers."
Woolbright said "a ton" of items have been donated for a raffle. She said there will be a "cake walk," a game that resembles musical chairs, for cupcakes. There also will be a face-painter on hand. The New Hope band, dance team, cheerleaders, and show choir also will be on hand to add to the event.
"We're just trying to make it a little bit bigger, and hopefully it will just keep growing and growing so it will become a really big thing," said Woolbright, who added she has asked New Hope High's students to come and to wear pink. "It helps the younger girls because when they see the survivors they know they can survive if they get their regular checkups."
The afternoon/evening of volleyball will start with a middle school match, followed by the junior varsity and varsity matches.
Caledonia High volleyball coach Samantha Brooks said all of the money raised will go to the Sideout Foundation, which will aid in research and treatment of Stage 4 breast cancer. There will be raffle tickets for $2. Breast cancer survivors are encouraged to attend to be recognized and honored. Raffling of items will take place throughout the evening.
"The response by not only the players and our faculty and staff here across campus and our community was incredible," Brooks said. "There were a lot of donations made and we were able to raise a lot of money, which was nice. The girls completely dove into it. They were excited about it and had a lot of different ideas. They took ownership in it and were invested in it."
Caledonia won the inaugural Dig Pink match last season.
Caledonia enters the match at 24-8 and 5-0 in Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class II, Region 4. New Hope comes in at 8-10 and 2-3.
Last season, Caledonia finished as the region runner-up and lost to New Albany in the first round of the playoffs. This season, the first place team from Region 4 will play host to the Region 2 runner-up. Region 2 includes Center Hill, Lake Cormorant, Lewisburg, Olive Branch, and Senatobia.
Brooks hopes she and her players will be able to pass on what they learned from the event last year. She said it is an important event that will raise awareness because so many individuals and families have been affected. Brooks and Woolbright said their families have been affected by breast cancer.
"I want them to know there is going to be support and there will be people out there who will help them and pray for them," Brooks said. "I think it has raised the girls' awareness of how many people have been impacted. We had pink volleyballs last year in honor of or in memory of those who have had the disease. I think just seeing all of the names raised awareness, but I always think we can do more."
Brooks said the Dig Pink match will continue regardless of whether the schools remain in the same region following the next round of MHSAA reclassification.
"I am anxious to see if we will have more breast cancer survivors because we would like to honor them for them to feel special and for people to celebrate their lives," Brooks said.
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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