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Latin Academy kicks for a cause

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  October 17, 2012 11:19 AM

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The Latin Academy Dragons gathered at last year's breast cancer game fundraiser.(Photo courtesy of Nick Kamberidis)

The Latin Academy girls' soccer team can hardly wait for Friday’s game against Charlestown, but not because they’re anxious for a win.

They’re anxious to donate.

October is breast cancer awareness month and to show their support, the Dragons will host their second annual Coaches vs. Cancer fund-raiser.

What started as a suggestion last year turned into the Dragons’ most anticipated game of the season. Coach Nick Kamberidis knew they had to hold the fund-raiser again this season.

He said that it all started when the American Cancer Society contacted Latin Academy coaches with the opportunity to host a fund-raiser at one of their games. He asked if the girls had interest in hosting the event and all of them jumped at the opportunity.

“Some of them had an aunt or close relative that had breast cancer so they wanted to raise money for it,” Kamberidis said. “One of the first things they asked me this year was whether we would do it again this year.”

The girls are anxious to raise money for the second time, and ditch the usual black and gold for some pink.

“I love the whole pink idea,” senior forward Samantha Powell said. “Last year was good and we’re very, very excited for this game. We love the pink socks, shoelaces, and balls. We usually don’t get to play with a different color ball, so we’re pretty happy.”

Powell also expressed the girls’ incentive to score, as Kamberidis will donate with every goal.

Last year the Dragons raised just over $400 in their match against West Roxbury, and they’re looking to do even better this time.

“I think we’ll raise more this year, especially if we get more goals,” Powell said.

The girls have been creating a buzz throughout the halls of Latin Academy by hanging posters as well as posting information on social media sites.

“We’re all excited,” Powell said. “Even people who didn’t play last year, they were there, and can’t wait to be a part of it and actually in the game.”

The girls are also changing things up by charging admission – $3 for students or anyone wearing pink, $5 for non-students.

In order to raise as much money as possible, food, refreshments and bracelets, among other crafts, will be sold by the JV team.

Powell is hoping that all of Latin Academy comes out to show their school spirit as well as support for breast cancer patients. Kamberidis welcomes the entire community, with the goal of at least 50 people in attendance.

“Anyone in the community [can attend,]” he said. “We want to get as many people as we can, family, friends, anyone that wants to would be great. On a regular day we get four or five parents, so it’s a good way for people to come out and watch them play.”

With the publicity Latin Academy is creating for the event, the Dragons don’t seem to need to cross their fingers for a good turnout.

Boston schools Athletic Director Ken Still said that while he has heard of breast cancer fund-raisers hosted by football teams, this is the first he’s heard of soccer involvement.

“Whenever a team makes a positive decision in that direction to help anybody health wise - it’s a great decision,” he said. “It’s outstanding that they’re involved in something like that. That’s what we want out of our students.

As for Powell, she can’t wait to see the crowd and encourages other schools to get involved with cancer fundraisers.

“This event shows a lot about us and our team,” she said. “Any school can be involved with it. Everyone should do it.”

Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public school athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu

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