Steven Walker, ’Doah Staff Writer
March 26, 2013
Well, it seems as if Mr. Punxsutawney Phil was slightly off this year. Although it doesn’t feel or look much like spring, it has officially arrived. As we continue to watch snow fall in the Shenandoah Valley, many of our varsity spring sports here at S.U. are about halfway through their seasons.
With the odd belated winter weather set aside, it is time for the Spring Stinger, a week full of Hornet pride and support for our spring sports. All the excitement was set to take place this week from Sunday, March 24, to Saturday, March 30, but the schedule was adjusted due to inclement weather.
Our very own Hornets are playing for a tremendous cause. Men’s and women’s tennis and lacrosse, along with baseball and softball, are all engaged in an act of giving and compassion labeled by the SAAC committee as, “Playing for Packy.”
Patrick “Packy” Purcell is a Shenandoah University alumnus and former member of the football team. He has been fighting Crohn’s disease for the past six years and also been undergoing a battle with cancer for some time now. Even during the removal of a tumor from his colon and multiple chemotherapy treatments, this young man has never weakened his brave fight.
Doctors recently discovered a mass in his brain, which has been reported as a tumor. But they are confident that this cancer will be safely removed and are hopeful that he will recover in good time.
This week’s athletic events will be geared towards supporting Packy and his fight against Crohn’s disease and cancer. And while our athletes will be playing their hearts out for a good cause, these contests cannot be won without support from all around the campus community.
Softball played for Packy last Wednesday, March 20, in their contest against Eastern Mennonite University, where they split with the Royals. Many supporters were present and were encouraged to wear blue to honor the event.
Men and women’s tennis was to join the fight Sunday, March 24, against Lynchburg College, but the match was postponed to a later date due to snow.
Baseball was to also play Monday, March 25, against the Wesley College Wolverines, but that was also delayed due to the spring snowstorm that covered Bridgeforth Field.
Men’s lacrosse is scheduled to play Friday, March 30, at Shentel Stadium against Hampden-Sydney College. All spectators are encouraged to wear white to support the Hornets and Packy Purcell.
All SU teams have been volunteering and will be helping out with fundraising during the Spring Stinger games. Teams will be hosting bake sales at each sporting event along as well as making the rounds with collection cans for donations.
The T-shirt Attic donated white t-shirts to SAAC with “Play for Packy” and “#26” printed on the back, for all spring athletes to wear during warm-ups. SAAC sold the leftover t-shirts at the Pep Rally held in the quad on March 22, which was sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement.
For more information on Packy and his battle or to donate, go to http://www.giveforward.com/packywillnevergiveup26. Every little bit of support helps and is dearly appreciated. You do not have to be an athlete to play for Packy!
Keep an eye out and an ear open for updates and news regarding rain dates–or shall I say snow dates–for these games and continue to support this amazing alumnus’s fight.