More Than A Game sticks it to cancer with big lacrosse weekend at OCC

High school lacrosse season is kicking into high gear, and in just a few weeks, squads from around the region will be competing in sectional playoffs. Yet, the More Than a Game Foundation gave those athletes a new kind of motivation this Saturday in their "Stick It to Cancer" high school lacrosse event.

12 high school teams from Section III competed at OCC on Saturday, with the money at the gate and pledges going to the Upstate Cancer Center and the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. Anthony Richmond, New York State Director of the More Than A Game Foundation, said they raised over 3,000 dollars on Saturday.

Because each game had more than just a win or a loss on the athlete's minds, their motivation was at an all time high, as they were playing for each other, and their own personal reasons as well.

"It feels great to be a part of this event," Sara Yonta, a junior at Homer High School, said. "There's personal stories that come with it and it's great to come together like this."

The message hit even closer to home for Paige Rogers, a junior at Westhill High School, whose grandmother was stricken with the disease.

"I was happy when I found out that we'd be a part of the event," Rogers said. "My grandmother had breast cancer so it's great to raise money for her."

For some, it wasn't just individuals that the athletes were playing for, but the entire school, as Rick Storrier, head coach of the Lafayette girls lacrosse team, says, their district has been hit hard by the disease.

"Cancer has hit our team, our school, and our athletic department very hard," he said. "One of the kids on the team had their aunt pass away, our athletic director's wife passed away last year, my wife passed away three years ago, and the school has been means a lot to these kids because they were there through everybody's heartaches, and it means a lot for them to be here and contribute in any way they can."

The More Than A Game Foundation plans on doing events like this again, and will once again be donating money at the gate and taking pledges during the big Lafayette-Skaneateles rivalry game at Onondaga Community College on Sunday, May 6, at 3:00.