ARLINGTON — Students and athletes alike dressed in pink for the Coaches vs. Cancer event, that was held prior to the Arlington’s boys basketball game against Snohomish on Feb. 4.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball coaches to fund cancer research and increase awareness of the disease.
It was Arlington’s fourth year of putting on the event. Arlington boys basketball head coach Nick Brown’s wife, Caryn, was diagnosed with cancer, around the time Arlington became involved with Coaches vs. Cancer.
The crowd was noticeably pinker in attire, as students and their families showed their support in the fight against cancer.
Brown was pleased with the outcome. Brown wanted to give special recognition to Arlington’s cheerleaders and band leader John Grabowski. “They really do a good job and support us really well,” Brown said. “They don’t get a lot of recognition.”
The special night opened with Heather Logan of Cascade Valley Hospitals and Clinics giving a speech which honored Arlington students and their parents who are fighting cancer.
“Every year, we recognize honorary coaches, those who have defeated cancer, those who are fighting cancer today and, sadly, those who lost the fight against this dreaded disease,” Logan said.
Among the students and parents honored were senior Kaleb Bryson and his younger brother Drew, whose mother Tracy was treated for melanoma. “She was very fortunate to have caught it early,” Logan said. “She has been cancer free for five years and recommends that everyone have their skin checked yearly.”
Others honored included sophomore girls basketball player Serafina Balderas’ mother Jamie, and grandmother Mei-Lynne Statler. Statler was diagnosed with breast cancer, but is undergoing treatment, planning to be cancer free by July.
After honoring the cancer survivors, Logan concluded her speech with a moment of silence in remembrance of Arlington’s wrestling coach Barry Knott, who passed away from cancer a year ago.
Logan said that the goal of Coaches vs. Cancer in Arlington’s gym was to raise money for cancer research. “Our goal tonight is to raise $500,” She said. “This gym holds 3,500 people, and it looks pretty close to capacity.”
To reach this goal, Coaches vs. Cancer sold T-shirts and raffle tickets. There was a box also accepting additional donations in the foyer. As of Feb. 6, Cascade Valley has collected $1,800 in donations.
The Arlington boys basketball team went above and beyond in a second half rally, defeating Snohomish, 57-54.
The game against Snohomish didn’t start so well. Arlington found itself behind 20-8, as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter. Arlington had difficulty landing shots throughout the game. The Eagles improved in scoring, but were still behind 36-22 at halftime.
“I said, ‘If we’re going to win this game, we’ve got to start playing it very soon,’” Brown said. “I told them that basketball is a very simple game.”
The Eagles began to catch up during the third quarter. Arlington won the game in the fourth quarter as the Eagles’ defense came alive during the last minutes, causing loose balls and converting for points. Bryson sealed the win at the free-throw line, ending the game 57-54.
As of Feb. 5, Arlington’s overall record is 12-1 in conference and 17-2 overall. Arlington is still seated at No. 1 in Wesco 4A North.
To learn more about Coaches vs. Cancer and how to get involved, please visit www.cancer.org/involved/participate/coachesvscancer.