As if the Saegertown girls didn’t have enough to play for on Tuesday.
For one, it was Senior Day, the last time the Panthers’ 12th-graders would be playing at home. Secondly, the team needed a victory over visiting Union City to clinch at least a share of this year’s Region 3 title.
But the Lady Panthers also had it in mind to impress their newest fan — 1-month-old Charlee Cook, the granddaughter of Saegertown’s head coach Mark McKissock.
Charlee, who was in attendance yesterday along with her mother Sam and father Ryan, was recently diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. And the Saegertown girls wanted to do a little something for her, so they turned yesterday’s already big game into an awareness- and fund-raising event for cystic fibrosis.
Donations to benefit the fight towards the disease were accepted at the game. And the Saegertown squad donned special uniforms for the day, which were emblazoned with a purple ribbon and identified each player as members of Team Charlee.
“We wore our shirts to school today, just to support her,” said Saegertown junior Elizabeth Lilly. “And we called Union City and we told them what we were doing and they all wore purple ribbons in their hair.”
The game will likely be the first in a series of events the Saegertown team has planned for the cause. There are upcoming fundraisers currently in the works. And it might become a tradition at the diamond as well.
“Other girls want to keep doing it on senior night,” said Lilly. “They want every senior night to be a Team Charlee day.”
Coach McKissock said he was honored by his team’s support.
“It was very cool,” he said. “I had nothing to do with that. It’s a testament to the seniors’ character. This is their night. They went ahead and did something for my granddaughter that was going to cut into their time, into their spotlight. That’s really cool. That’s cool, to me.”
The Panthers went out and got the win, too. They beat Union City 9-8. And after the game, the players gathered around to meet their newest and cutest fan.
“That was for Charlee,” one of the girls said.