Youth football team in N.J. sports pink socks for breast cancer awareness

10/29/2009

As the head coach of a 9- and 10-year-old pee wee football team, Michael Sconza believes it is his responsibility to teach more than just Xs and Os.

Whenever possible, this coach from Bergen County, N.J. works to instill positive values in his players that will make them better people, not just better football players.

Sconza’s community is seeing first-hand evidence of this as his team, the South River Dell Pee Wee Hawks, has taken the field for two games this month adorned with pink colored socks in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  

“I recently came up with the idea after seeing the NFL players doing it,” Sconza said. “When I mentioned it to the kids they were psyched to do something for a good cause.”

Sconza’s team wore pink socks at their away game on Oct. 24 against the team from Weehawken (N.J.) and will wear them again on Oct. 30 against the team from Westwood (N.J.).

“The kids are gaining much support from the community and are impressing a lot of people by showing that even young players are looking to help and do something for a good cause,” Sconza said. “I am excited and proud of my team for wanting to go out and do something like this.”

The NFL received much attention this past month as players and coaches from across the league sported pink socks, wristbands and hats in an attempt to raise awareness for breast cancer.

After noticing the positive publicity that these players generated, Sconza realized that his athletes could do the very same thing in their community.

“Our league is rather large and serves two towns in Bergen County, Riveredge and Oradell,” Sconza said. “We have a total of roughly 300 children that play football. We are hoping that people will see our young team doing something good like this and go out and contribute to help fight breast cancer.”

The 23 pairs of pink socks were donated by Sport Expert, a nearby sporting goods store.

Sconza is a certified member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA) – a coaches training and education program provided by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS). NYSCA training emphasizes how sports can be an ideal vehicle for teaching life skills and values – something Sconza has clearly taken to heart.

“I try to teach my players the importance of being a good person off the field as well,” he said. “I think it has worked very well. At such a young age to want to support a good cause is admirable.”

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