For the fourth straight season, Creekview’s girls soccer team will wear special shoelaces and use a game to raise money for a special cause.
This year, the Lady Grizzlies will wear bright green laces for Tuesday’s game against Etowah and will be accepting donations during the game for concussion awareness through the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
“It opens the girls’ eyes a little more,” coach Kerri Schmitt said. “They can see it’s not always about the game itself. There’s a lot more to life, and a lot of it affects our players. They focus so much on the sport. It’s important to put effort into other causes.”
As has become the tradition in recent years, the cause was not chosen at random.
The tradition began four years ago, when the Lady Grizzlies donned yellow shoelaces as part of the national “Lace Up for Lacey” campaign to raise money for cancer research through Coaches vs. Cancer, but the causes have only become more personal since.
The next year, Creekview switched to red laces during America’s Heart Month after one of the team’s ball boys went into sudden cardiac arrest.
Last year, the cause was inspired by assistant coach Lauren Dodd, as the team wore blue laces to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and this year’s cause follows a similar pattern.
“Last year, we did diabetes for one of our coaches,” Schmitt said. “The year before, we did cardiac, because one of our player’s younger siblings had a cardiac arrest. So many people have been affected by concussions, whether it’s players, coaches, family members or anything. It’s definitely something we have around the team. We want them to open up and see other things.”
Having a relatable cause for the players has helped raise in the hundreds of dollars each year, but Schmitt said it has also provided a boost on the field.
She will be hoping that carries over to Tuesday’s game, as the Lady Grizzlies look for one final tuneup before closing their Region 6AAAAAA schedule Friday against South Cobb.
“I think it’s a huge factor. When you can look up and know what it’s like to go through these things or know someone who has gone through these things, it can mean a little bit more to you. It’s good to see the girls get into something like that. You can really tell they take it to heat.”