The reason the Colonels games this weekend will hold such significance is they are for a cause and proceeds from the Hoops for Hope tournament at Cass High Friday and Saturday will benefit those battling cancer.
“I dare say that we can’t find many people that this disease hasn’t touched somehow through a friend or family,” Cass boys basketball head coach Greg Scott said. “I doubt that there are very many people out there that don’t know somebody that’s been afflicted with this disease, that’s a survivor or has claimed their life later on.”
For Cass High, the cause carries further significance because several members of the Colonels family have been afflicted by the often deadly disease.
“I believe that we have a couple of teachers that are cancer survivors,” Scott said. “We just recently had a custodian, [Lloyd Barnett], that worked for us in July that found out that he had cancer. He died about a week ago, so it has affected our faculty and staff at school.”
This is the first year Cass will be holding the tournament. T-shirts will be sold to raise money and proceeds from the gate will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to donate and contribute like that,” Scott said. “People all the time are going out and trying to raise money for this or that, but we actually get to do something where this money may go to provide somebody a wheelchair, it may go provide them a trip to the doctor. Who knows what this money is going to be used for, but I just want to get some good from it.”
Scott also believes the tournament will help his players be thankful for the opportunity to play basketball and hopes to raise awareness in the process.
“We wanted to help our players realize we’re fortunate in that we get to go out and do the things we want to do and there are others that are less fortunate, and we have a lot to be thankful for that we can go out and play and raise some money for someone who may need it down the road,” Scott said Wednesday. “Our players all talked about it this morning and talked about the time of the season it is. It is a time to be thankful that we are able to do these things because we are fortunate.”
The fun starts this afternoon at 3. That’s when the girls basketball teams from Paulding County and Cherokee High will kick off the tournament.
“This should be a good game because both Paulding County and Cherokee were playoff teams last year,” Cass girls coach Jamie Horton said.
Cherokee lost in the Elite 8 round of the state playoffs while Paulding lost in the initial round of the playoffs.
The girls teams participating are Allatoona, Cass, Cherokee County, Paulding and Trion. The boys teams involved in the tournament are Cass, Newton County, Paulding County and West Forsyth.
The Cass girls play their first game at 6 p.m. when they tip off against Trion. The Lady Colonels take on Allatoona on Saturday, with the same 6 p.m. start.
The Cass boys play at 7:30 p.m. each day, squaring off against West Forsyth today and Newton on Saturday.
Horton said the event, in addition to raising money for the cause, also is providing fans a chance to see good teams in action.
“Many of these teams often advance to the state playoffs, so we’re looking for an exciting two days of basketball,” Horton added.
The Cass boys are currently 0-2 with losses to Heritage, Catoosa and Adairsville. The Cass girls are 2-1 with wins over Gordon Central and Adairsville.
—The Daily Tribune News Staffers Jason Greenberg and David Royal contributed to this report