8/26/2014 3:36:00 PM Fans asked to wear pink
for football opener 'Tackle Cancer Game' kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m.
By David Richards
For one night only, the Byron High football team will add a third color to its uniform.
Pink will be added to the Bears' usual display of Black and Gold at the team's home opener against Dover-Eyota Thursday night. Game time is at 7.
It's all part of the "Tackle Cancer Game" to raise funds for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. The fund is named after the notable sports broadcaster in the Twin Cities who has helped raise more than $3.8 million for the cause, according to www.randyshavercancerfund.org. He's also been diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin's Disease.
"We heard about it last year, but there was not enough time to get it going," said head coach John Austinson, about the effort.
Minnesota football teams at all levels are joining the cause as well, including the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Gophers and the Minnesota High School Coaches Association.
Austinson said the association would like to see participation from all 438 Minnesota high school football teams.
"We're trying to get everyone involved," he said.
For their part, the Byron football players will be wearing pink socks and pink shoelaces, while the coaching staff will don pink polo shirts.
Austinson hopes the fans show their support and wear something pink as well.
Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to donate to the cancer fund, and win prizes such as hats, mini helmets and souvenir end zone pylons depending on how much a person donates.
As for the game itself, Austinson is ready.
"It's always exciting to start the season," he said. "It's like Christmas. You get to open your first gifts."
The Bears alternate home and away games this season, with one home contest each in the months of August and October and two in September.
All Byron High home games are played at Byron Middle School.