Pink and White: Rivalries Set Aside

Pink and White: Rivalries Set Aside

Every year, in late April, Louisville’s four largest Catholic schools, Sacred Heart, Assumption, Trinity, and Saint Xavier, turn out for the Pink and White flag football game. For students across all four schools, the Pink and White Game symbolizes a time of solidarity across opposing schools. As students progress through their time in high school, they begin to consolidate the meaning of the game and during their senior year they are given an opportunity to support the case in several ways. Some girls at Assumption and Sacred Heart Academy choose to try out for their flag football team, while boys at Saint Xavier and Trinity decide to manifest their enthusiasm through dance. As seniors, the Pink and White game brings classmates together as they enter their final moments of high school. Sacred Heart senior Eva Carias emphasized this. “Everyone always looked out for each other on the field but also while in school.” While playing in the game and cheering on the players with a fun dance routine are the highlight of the game for some students, the real meaning of the game is deeper than that of any other game. By hearing the voices of the Sacred Heart flag football team and the Trinity Dance team, particularly those whose loved ones have battled breast cancer, the personal significance of this event becomes clear.

Despite the deep rivalry between the four schools, they put aside their differences in order to support a bigger cause: breast cancer awareness. Students, faculty, and families come together to share their experiences, sadness, and love while also honoring, praying, and playing for those who have suffered from cancer. The impact of this night is bigger than scoring the first touchdown or which student section is the loudest. The tradition of Pink and White is inspiring the young leaders of tomorrow to step up and orient others toward a greater cause. This tradition started in 2007, and every year the four schools exemplify their dedication to finding a cure. The week before the game, “Cure Week,” tickets and shirts are sold to fundraise, and every year donations and generosity continue to grow, to uplift the souls of those impacted by cancer. It’s an admirable tradition that helps fulfill the mission of catholic schooling. “Christ calls us to serve others,” chimed Ben Ramsey, a senior on Trinity’s dance team. By putting on the Pink and White Game, teenagers in Louisville are doing just that.

Of all the causes to champion, none is as wide-reaching or potentially personal as breast cancer research, and many on the football and dance teams are personally invested in the fight. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and others close to people on these teams have fought breast cancer. Inspired by their courage, these kids do all they can to support those fighting that fight. Sacred Heart senior Lainey Bayer stated she “was nine years old when my mom was going through breast cancer treatment, so this game and this cause have always been so special to me and my family.” Ben Beauerle, whose grandmother has survived breast cancer multiple times, said, “Dancing for this team, dancing for this cause, has meant a little bit more to me this year.”

The impact of Pink and White cannot be understated, not only because of the money it raises or the cause it champions, but because of the people that make it possible and the place it has in Louisville. Nobody is more aware of Pink and White’s tradition than Parker Glass, a senior at Trinity. Two years ago, Glass was in the stands, watching his brother on the dance team; he knew then that he needed to sign up too. But by no means did he think it would be easy to fill his brother’s shoes. “Watching the routines, I felt like I was going to do horribly because I can’t dance.” Though Chaz Kapfhammer, Trinity’s senior class president, attests that they’ve contended with “a lot of hard work, countless hours, late nights… [and] practice eight to ten, pretty much three times a week,” the dance team rolled with every obstacle sent their way. In retrospect, Glass’s modesty was misplaced: he learned to dance as well as anybody else on the field.

Down the street at Sacred Heart Academy, Team White players hustled through another practice at Horton Field, and while they arguably underwent a more excruciating practice, filled with more planks than body rolls, players expressed the same sentiment. For senior Eva Carias, Team White allowed her to see a new side of her Sacred Heart sisters: “Everyone always looked out for each other on the field but also while in school.”  Brannock McCartan, a Trinity senior, admits he “was kind of wary whether or not I should even sign up, but it’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve gotten to hang around with guys who I didn’t even really know.” Friendships are the foundation of any community, and Pink and White gives schools the opportunity to be reminded of their students’ talents and what it means to be a Valkyrie, Rocket, Shamrock, or Tiger.

While the catalyst of the Pink and White game is a decades-long rivalry across all four schools, the game isn’t about beating anyone, and it’s not just about the Catholic schools. It’s about putting aside school pride to help the Louisville community and women around the world. Bayer said, “This game and this cause has always been so special to me and my family…it’s an honor to be able to wear that jersey and represent a school that I am so proud to say I go to.”

We would like to thank the survivors of breast cancer for their courage and strength through their times of hardships. For the ones who have passed, we honor them for their fight through their battles. To the families who have been affected, you have faced the unimaginable. As students of the Archdiocese of Louisville schools, we are praying for you and a cure. Many have won their battles against cancer, but the world will only win when there is a cure; until then, we will do our part by supporting others and playing as four schools for one cause.

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