Newark Valley, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
" My initial reaction was, we're going to look like a bunch of clowns, but when we figured out what the cause was for, we were all for it."
The cause is JV coach Ralph Novi.
He had a tumor removed from his lung and is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Quarterback Troy Schiess says, " It was tough at first. I mean the guy that we're so close with and we've been with ever since he's been around the program for years. We grew up around him. It was tough to hear about that at first, but we knew he was a fighter and he would get through it. And we were his support system."
This team's motto is TOGETHER.
And what better way to show togetherness than to all lose their hair together.
Varsity coach Jack Short says, " It all started homecoming morning. The kids started talking about shaving their heads for coach Novi. They asked me if I had a problem with it and I said absolutely not."
Novi says, " I can't even talk about that. When I talked with the team I got so emotional, it just meant so much to me. These guys are awesome. "
The result of the team-wide buzz-cuts was as intended. Both for their former coach, and each other.
Lineman Zach Leigh says, " It was exhilarating. When we all did it we knew we were all in this together. Like our motto is together."
Linebacker Angus Hines adds, " As a team we got stronger. Shaving our heads, all of us, it brought us together. All of us doing it, shows we are a team, and we are together."
For these bald Cardinals, "together" isn't a slogan on a t-shirt anymore. That one word means a lot more.
" This whole team, everyday we talk about how we have to do it together, and these guys just proved it. "