Pink with a purpose - The Explorer: Sports

Pink with a purpose

Local volleyball matchup also promotes breast cancer awareness

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 7:55 am, Wed Nov 28, 2012.

Margie Bowman can’t forget Sept. 22, 2006, when her regular mammogram detected every woman’s fear — breast cancer.

Two years, three days and a course of radiation treatment later, the Ironwood Ridge assistant volleyball coach was healthy and cancer-free and working the sidelines last Thursday as her Nighthawks and Sunnyside’s Blue Devils donned pink shirts for their first-annual “Dig for the Cure” fund-raising match.

On a packed and rowdy home court, the Nighthawks teamed with their 5A-II rivals to honor both Bowman and Laura Kadous, mother of head Sunnyside coach Heidi Trump, during a short mid-match ceremony.

“Having this tonight was very overwhelming for me,” a visibly touched Bowman said. “It was amazing to see all the pink here, and all the people that came out. It was very nice.”

College teams across the country have organized similar events during recent years, said Nighthawks coach Bill Lang, who figured it natural to host the evening once Bowman joined his team.

Though planning was “last minute,” Lang said the schools raised $3,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation by Thursday night. Some players even rallied pledges for each dig at the event’s pink-and-white ball.

“We just presented it to the girls, they were really behind it, they thought it was a great opportunity,” Lang said. “We want our players to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to realize how fortunate they are to play volleyball.”

Though the Ironwood Ridge gymnasium’s pink décor and throngs of coral-clad fans rendered a festive atmosphere, the Nighthawks’ never promised Sunnyside’s Blue Devils a rose garden.

Sunnyside appeared disorganized for the first game and resurgent during the second, as Ironwood Ridge won 25-4 and 25-21 before a short break spotlighted the evening’s honorees.

Students from both schools took turns hitting balls over the net, an effort to win pink shirts available for a $25 donation.

When the girls retook the court, Sunnyside commenced to put up a dogfight, leading 14-9 before both teams wrestled along to a 27-25 Nighthawks win.

Ironwood Ridge senior captain Malyree Harper — who notched four of the ’Hawks 37 digs — said the night’s significance caused both squads to take pause.

“This is definitely emotional, especially since we’re the first school doing this. It’s very different and exciting,” Harper said. “There was a lot of emotion that it brought in to the game.”

Defeat aside, Sunnyside’s coach was moved by the evening’s raucous turnout. Trump’s eyes watered at the thought of her mother’s successful battle, which lasted six months after she was diagnosed in the same month as Bowman.

In 2007, more than 178,000 women learned they’d face that same fight. Over 40,000 would not survive, according to the American Cancer Society.

“To know that these teams would come out and support us, it was a great way to treat (breast cancer) awareness — cause it’s not just older people,” Trump said. “It’s people my age, it’s people their age, that are going to encounter it.”

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today:

HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


MOS: Storms and Floods

We asked the community about the coming floods and storms.

MOS: Back To School

We asked the community about the new school semester starting.

More Featured Videos

Follow us on Facebook