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Posted: 10/02/13

Oct. 4 Watchdog game to
fight again against cancer

Observer Special Writer

      This Friday, Oct. 4, Romeo High School (RHS) student athletes will again raise awareness and money to battle cancer and at the same time honor survivors, those currently undergoing treatment or those who have passed.  
       Barnabo Stadium will be filled Friday at 7 p.m. for the 5th annual Watchdog football game where the Bulldogs will not only be fighting to win against the Port Huron High School team, but fighting also against cancer.
       Players will wear special pink jerseys with an honorary cancer survivor/victim name on the back. The Watchdog halftime program will be dedicated especially to them. 
       Those attending the game will purchase a T-shirt for the admission price of the game, on sale for $15 at the RHS Athletic office or at FAMS in downtown Romeo. The money will go to the American Cancer Society, the Romeo Relay For Life spring event and to the Four County Community Foundation. 
       The foundation has set up an endowment fund and starting next year will give any RHS graduate who has had cancer or is currently undergoing treatment, a scholarship to continue their education.
       Jason Couch, co-head coach for the RHS football team is proud of his players.
       "Throughout the game, when a play is made, instead of the team member's name being announced it will be the name of the person he is playing for on his jersey," said Couch.
       "Special printed programs created for the day will have a write-up of who they are playing in honor of or in memory of."
       These programs will be available for a donation at the game.
       After the game is over the "Filling in the Ribbon" ceremony will take place and a group photo will be taken on the field.
       "This ceremony concludes with the team taking off the jersey and presenting it to the person they wore it for," said Couch.
       Some team members talk about who they are playing for.
       "Some say they are playing for parents or they have lost a family member or friend," said Couch. "Some are playing for children with cancer."
       Through the years, this special football game has turned into a week of many events. Greg Brynaert, RHS athletic director, said several other student groups have stepped up to the plate to help.
       "Every year it gets better, we see the cheerleaders, soccer team, volleyball team, the dance team and the swim team as well as the band all supporting this along with the football players," said Brynaert, who has been the athletic director for 16 years. "The efforts of our players, coaches and their parents from all of our sport teams have found a way to contribute towards this cause is tremendous. We are so proud of our kids and community."
       The local middle schools and elementary schools all get together and have a "Quarter Day" where each student brings in a quarter to donate toward the Watchdog game as well.
       The RHS swim team has a fun "Splash Out Cancer" pool night for families and there will be other Watchdog team events scheduled including: A volleyball match on Oct. 3 in the gym with ninth grade starting at 4 p.m., junior varsity at 5 p.m. and the varsity game is at 6:30 p.m.
       Then, on Oct. 2 at 4 p.m., the players at a soccer game will be wearing pink jerseys to support the cause.
       "The kids can see that there is something more important than the sports or themselves," said Brynaert. "The hearts of our students are growing and they are learning that we need to give to others."
       Just before the Watchdog football game starts on Friday night a special song will be sung before the National Anthem and then the game begins.
       For information on the game, how to support the students or donate call the Romeo High School at (586) 752-0300 and ask for the athletic department.
       To get a T-shirt that is good for admission for the Watchdog game on Friday night, go to FAMS Printing at 104 W. St. Clair Street in downtown Romeo. For any other questions about the 2013 Watchdog football game, call (586) 281-1145.

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Retrieved 8/2/2015 at 8:26:02 PM.
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