Every sport at Romeo High School hosts a Watchdog game where all proceeds are contributed to Cancer research. Watchdog has a unique impact on every student at Romeo. To some it’s the motivation to catch the winning pass to others it’s the hope they need to battle cancer. Watchdog has been a staple of our community for 7 years and grows in influence every year. We raise money, raise awareness, and raise hope for the community through sports and unity. So this week, Megan and Max put aside any differences to unite for a single cause.
Max Lucci ‘16 – To me, Watchdog week is a time to recognize the strength of survivors and infuse hope into the fighters. No one is untouched by cancer and while it might be a strong disease, it’s nothing compared to the strength shown when a community comes together. Everyone can find a reason to buy a shirt, attend the game, and come together for others affected.
Cancer has touched my life through my Grandma, as well as friends and family. She is the reason I buy the shirt and stand in the cold, chest painted, representing my team and the community. The bleachers of Barnabo fill with love for our team every Friday, but this week we chant and show love for survivors and fighters; this is something you need to be there to feel. For some people this is enough to get them through one more session of chemo or one more day without their loved ones, for a disease that fights hard we need to fight harder and this is the week to take action.
Megan Vandeberghe ‘16 – The best thing about Watchdog week is that it connects to every RHS student on a personal level in entirely different ways. Whether they knew someone who lost their battle to cancer or continue fighting, or if they just want to join the cause, Watchdog symbolizes hope across the community.
One of the most important parts of the week lies in the sentimental value behind the jerseys. At the end of the game, cancer patients, current or previous will make their way down onto the field to accept a football jersey. If the victim passed away, then a family member or close friend accepts the jersey in that person’s honor.
It isn’t the football gear itself that matters, it’s the love given with it. In the whole scheme of things, love is all that’s left to strengthen the weak and empower the powerless. The jerseys are an emblem of life and survival through the seemingly impossible times.
Love moves mountains and conquers all. My family experienced hardship when my grandfather was diagnosed with lymphoma, and a few short years later my great aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although they seemed defeated in the end, the victory belonged to us. My aunt fought off lung cancer twice before it took her life. In the end, the score was set at 2-1, love winning, cancer behind by a whole point.
Watchdog gives my family hope so that one day, cancer won’t earn any points or take any beautiful lives away. The football game represents the fight, the jersey’s are the love, and the fan’s are all the support spewing out in all directions.
Upholding this yearly tradition captures the motivation of a determined community. The Bulldogs’ faces are fierce and ready to fight off the rival team, and cancer itself.