Adam Sebastian ‘19 and Justin McNulty ‘20: Cancer. The human race remains united on the front, striving to defeat such a dreaded disease. Cancer affects each one of us as humans, maybe not directly to someone within our own family, but perhaps a distant friend, acquaintance, or fellow co-worker or student.

The small community of Romeo aims to combat the devastating disease through participating in Watchdog Week. Each year Romeo High School hosts a Watchdog Football Game where all proceeds travel directly to cancer research organizations. Since the first Watchdog Game in  2009, Romeo raised a grand total of $451,000. Now 10 years later, the tradition of hosting a Watchdog Game spreads across multiple sports. Hoping to hit the $500,000 mark, Romeo relies on the community to come out and support their Bulldogs throughout the week. Sports such as Football, Volleyball, Dance team, Cheer, and Boys Soccer who all plan to participate in the 2018 Watchdog Week lasting from September 7-13.

Coaches of the programs put emphasis on the importance of cancer research, making every player raise a specific amount to participate in the game. The members of the various teams each choose someone special, survivor or an individual who sadly lost the battle, within their lives who battled cancer. Players who meet the aforementioned requirement, get to keep their jersey and/or present it to whomever they honored, after the game. It’s a memorable, emotional, and unifying moment for the players, survivors, families of those lost, and most important the community’s fight against cancer.

On Friday, September 7, Barnabo Field hosts the 10th annual Watchdog Football Game when Sterling Heights Stevenson visit the Bulldogs beginning at 7:00 p.m. The team plans to wear white jerseys with purple nameplates. Each player, along with the cheer and dance team, wears the name of someone important who they plan to honor during the game.

“This year I’m playing in honor of a longtime family friend Mrs. Jodi. I specifically chose her because she regularly attends our games and has always supported our family, so I wanted to support her with her battle,” defensive end, Ben Weber ‘20 said.

Also opting to play in honor of a family friend, linebacker Logan Iafrate ‘20 is playing for Patricia Latra.

“Patricia, has been an inspiration and a good friend of my parents, so I felt it’s right to play for her,” Iafrate said.

We welcome all fans onto the field, after Friday’s football game, to take the traditional Watchdog week picture and witness the jersey presentations.

Barnabo Field also hosts the Watchdog Soccer game when Grosse Pointe North visits Monday, September 10, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The team plans to wear purple jerseys with white writing while honoring those affected by cancer within their lives.

“I am playing in honor of my Great Grandmother,” Boys Soccer Captain, Ryan Danaj ‘19 said. “She was a strong woman who fought cancer for a long time and I admire her courage.”

Boys Soccer upcoming, Reese Ford ‘20, plans to wear ‘The Cure’ on the back of his jersey during the game.

“I wanted to play in honor of the scientists who try to find a cure because cancer has gone on for too long,” Ford said.

The final Watchdog Game of the 2018 fall season takes place on the volleyball court in the main gym at Romeo High School, when the Bulldogs host Anchor Bay High School on Thursday, September 13, beginning at 7:00. Likewise, the players honor loved ones who fought the battle against cancer.

“I am playing for Ashleigh because she was my Dad’s Best Friend’s Daughter; so I plan to honor her in our [Watchdog] game,” Varsity Volleyball star, Ally Konarzewski ‘19 said.

“I am playing for my Grandma because she had lung cancer,” Volleyball standout, Victoria Zions ‘19 said. “ She was very brave in her battle and I want to play in memory of her.”

Good luck to all teams participating in this years Watchdog events. We encourage the community to come out to all of the games to support and raise money for this great cause.

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