The scholastic soccer season concludes Saturday with the PIAA Championships in Hershey.
But for a number of the area’s top seniors there is one last order of business they need to attend to.
The Pioneer Athletic Conference girls soccer coaches will honor their seniors and support a good cause at the same time Sunday when two teams of PAC-10 girls soccer seniors meet up in the inaugural Red Card for Cancer Senior All-Star Game at Washington Field in Phoenixville.
Game time is set for 5 p.m. There will be no charge for admission, but donations will be collected as 100 percent of the game’s proceeds will benefit the cancer centers at Phoenixville and Pottstown Hospitals.
A group of the top senior boys will get their All-Star moment when the Pioneer Athletic Conference lines up against the Public League Gold team in the annual Southeast Pa. All-Star Classic on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 11:30 a.m. at Eastern University.
The PAC-10 boys team will be coached by Perkiomen Valley’s Bob McCabe, Owen J. Roberts’ Eric Wentzel and Pottsgrove’s Jay Witkowski and features players selected to the PAC-10 coaches first and second teams.
The roster includes: Boyertown’s Danny Bechtel, Andrew Beaver, Noah Kean, Tim Lawlor, Christian Smith; Methacton’s Justin Ardman and Trent Taylor; Owen J. Roberts’ Ben Huzzard, Alex Jennion and Zach Serbin; Perkiomen Valley’s Alex Dove, Chase Koffel, Danny Quirk and Trent Vernon; Pope John Paul II’s Jake Bevenour; Pottsgrove’s Jon Maher, Sean O’Brien and Kevin Rodriguez.
In the Red Card for Cancer Senior All-Star Game this weekend, Team Cure and Team Cause will feature honorary captains who have endured their own fight with cancer. Team Cure will be captained by 4-year-old Amelia Nankivell, while Team Cause will be captained by Pottstown resident Carly Youngblood.
Team Cure, which will be made up of players from eight PAC-10 teams, feature a lineup that includes: Kyra Dubost of Methacton; Sarah Mills, Mia Bertolami, Sarah Hampton and Ally Friel of Owen J. Roberts; Lindsey Patla of Perkiomen Valley; Lauren Benner and Lahela Worley of Phoenixville; Lauren Dao, Courtney Thompson, Angela McMonagle, Meredith Gray and Grace Sein-Lwin of Pope John Paul II; Jenna Endy of Pottstown; Jenna Griggs, Brynn Hellberg and Erica Mastromatto of Spring-Ford; and Jess Spano of Upper Perkiomen.
The team will be coached by Phoenixville Area coach Tim Raub, Upper Perkiomen coach Mike Freed, Methacton coach Bret Smith and Phoenixville assistant Ashley Habbel.
Team Cause will be made up of players from nine of the league’s 10 teams. Members of Team Cause include: Casey Sheahan and Darian Ruyak of Boyertown; Hannah Walsh, Jess McNally and Maddie Misus of Methacton; Katie Dempsey and Emily Keck of Owen J. Roberts; Steph Schellberg, Katie Fritsche and Kristen Bonshock of Phoenixville; Christine Germscheid, Bridget Rauh and Talia Marano of Pope John Paul II; Ashley Lawrence of Pottstown; and Carrie Baumgartner, Emily Counts and Kayleigh Frey of Spring-Ford. The team will be coached by Boyertown coach Bill Goddard, Spring-Ford Coach Tim Leyland, Pottstown coach Gary Mock, Perkiomen Valley coach Kim Paulus and Boyertown assistant coach Courtney Goddard.
Nankivell, known to her family as Mimi, is a 4-year-old girl battling cancer. She developed a fever on Easter 2014, prompting a trip to her pediatrician. When the fever did not resolve in a few days, additional tests were ordered, including an ultrasound to test for a bladder infection. It was this test that revealed a large mass on Mimi’s left kidney. After a week in Danville, which included surgery and many more tests, the biopsy resulted in a diagnosis of a Stage 4 Wilms Tumor. At this time the tumor was too large to remove surgically. Mimi was given a treatment course of weekly chemotherapy for 12 weeks to shrink the tumor. She had surgery to remove the tumor and her left kidney on July 22, and two weeks later, she had 6 days of radiation treatments and moved to a 21-day chemotherapy regimen. Mimi’s last scheduled chemo was on Oct. 20.
Mimi has remained a happy, active girl through the majority of her treatment. She loves school and playing dress up. She is excited to get back into her swimming classes, and is looking forward to joining youth soccer this spring. She is also a Make-A-Wish kid and has asked to go and meet Belle, who is her favorite princess.
Youngblood, wife of OJR boys assistant coach Joe Youngblood and mother of two girls ages 4 and 2, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer on Oct. 25, 2013. Upon her diagnosis, her doctors at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center at the Phoenixville Hospital laid out her treatment plan.
Carly went through eight rounds of chemotherapy to shrink her tumor, and at the end of chemo she had a lumpectomy to remove what was left of the tumor before she was to start radiation therapy. After healing from surgery, Youngblood had 6 1â 2 weeks of radiation, five days per week Monday through Friday. Throughout her treatment she continued to work as a teacher at North Coventry Elementary in the Owen J. Roberts School District, missing only a few days of school. She was a tremendous model of courage and strength to not only her students, but co-workers as well.
In the time since she finished her treatment and was ruled cancer-free, Youngblood and her family were selected to go to Disney by For Pete’s Sake, a local cancer respite foundation that helps families dealing with cancer diagnoses by sending them on various trips. She also participated in the “Dressing on a Dime’ brunch and fashion show as a model that is organized by the Phoenixville Breast Cancer Awareness Coalition.
To read more about her battle and victory over breast cancer, go to http://bravingbreastcancer.weebly.com.
Anyone wishing to make a donation may do so at the entrance gate to Washington Field. Checks should be made out to Phoenixville Area Girls Soccer. Anyone that wishes to make a donation but cannot attend the game may do so by mailing a check or money order to: Red Card for Cancer Soccer Game, 109 Valley View Circle, Phoenixville, PA, 19460.