Camdenton football players wearing pink to show support for breast cancer awareness

MICHAEL LOSCH, Lake Sun Sports Editor
Camdenton sophomore Javari Stewart carries the ball in a game against Lebanon on Friday, October 9, in Camdenton. Stewart and junior teammate Garett Stark were wearing pink amongst their uniforms to show support for breast cancer awareness.

Camdenton fans are used to seeing their Lakers take the field wearing the familiar purple each Friday night, but there is a different color that can be seen during the month of October. 

That is the month reserved for breast cancer awareness and both junior Garett Stark and sophomore Javari Stewart were wearing pink amongst their uniforms to show support for the cause Friday night in a game against Lebanon. It is nothing new for either Laker football player, too, as both players said it is a tradition they have carried on from their early days on the gridiron in fourth or fifth grade. 

“I kept doing it for cancer research and to show support,” Stark said of the cause.

“I think it is important, when we can, to show awareness about breast cancer… I’d like to wish the best to anyone who has to go through that and hopefully our team shows enough awareness for it.”

Stewart noted that as a younger player back when he first started playing the game, the impact of cancer may not have been fully realized at a young age. However, he has certainly seen the efforts put forth by the community to help families going through it as he has grown older. 

“It has always been important to support breast cancer awareness,” the sophomore stated. “As you grow up, you see what the community does to help.”  

According to the latest available data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through 2017, breast cancer was the leading cause of new cancer cases amongst women in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, only behind lung and bronchus cancer. In 2017, a total of 250,520 new cases of female breast cancer were reported among women in the country and 42,000 women died of this cancer.  

In the state of Missouri alone, the latest available data states that a total of 5,124 cases of female breast cancer were reported in that year. More locally in the Lake area, Camden County reported 222 new cases of female breast cancer from 2013 to 2017 while Morgan County reported 85 new cases and Miller County reported 113 new cases.

“I just support you and want to get people behind you, even though we don’t know what you are going through,” Stewart said of his message to any family dealing with cancer. “Everyone is trying to help out some way and in some form.”

Camdenton coach Jeff Shore said he was glad to see some of his players supporting the cause and that he and the coaching staff fully supports any of their players who feel compelled to engage in something like that. 

“I just think it means a lot and it just shows they are thinking of a lot of other things other than themselves so I think it is a great representation and hopefully, it is a good thing to people out there who are going through that,” the coach said.  

“We 100 percent support them doing something like that.”

Both Stark and Stewart want to see more of their teammates wearing pink and hope they join them throughout the rest of this breast cancer awareness month. Going forward, there just may be a little more pink amongst the purple on Friday nights in October. 

“Football is just a game but people going through cancer situations, it is a lot more serious,” Shore pointed out. “If we can lend support in any way, we certainly want to do that.”