The soccer season may be over for the Drury girls' soccer team, but the team is still working together to beat an even tougher opponent.
The Blue Devils have organized a volleyball tournament Friday to raise money for two community members battling cancer. The ‘Serves for Service' tournament will take place Friday in the Drury High School gymnasium with all the money raised going to classmate Anna Arabia, 16, and Colten Downey, 2, and their families as they fight the disease.
Teams made up of six to seven students from Drury will play each other in a volleyball tournament.
Each season the girls' soccer team participates in a service learning project. This year the team wanted to focus on helping someone in the community but was struggling to find an idea.
"Every year we do a service learning project and we really wanted to help the community this year," junior Cori Ghidotti said. "The community helps us, so this is a way to give back."
At a practice in late September, junior Morgan Lamarre caught a glimpse of coach Molly Meczywor's bracelet that read "Courage for Colten," and pitched the idea of holding a fundraiser for him. The idea took off and the entire team began pitching in to help plan an event. Students from McCann Tech were also invited to participate.
"At first we were going to do a soccer game or a flag football game against the two teams, but we wanted to get more people involved," Lamarre said. "We decided on a volleyball tournament because we could get more people involved and we wouldn't have to worry about the weather."
The team began planning the fundraiser in early October. Eventually the idea was pitched to also help Arabia, a junior at Drury.
"A lot of our team is really close with Anna so we really wanted to do something for her," Lamarre said. "Obviously Colten is really big in our community so we also wanted to do something for him and their families."
The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and run until about 7. The cost to enter is $5 per player on each team. It is open to the community and admission is $5. The concession stand will also be open during the event. As of Wednesday night, seven teams were signed up to participate. The tournament is also open to McCann Tech students, but Ghidotti did not think any teams had signed up yet.
Raffles will also be held during the event and each team will design their own uniforms. The best uniform will win a prize at the end of the tournament.
The entire event is planned and run by the members of the Drury girls' soccer team.
"It's very cool for me to see the kids continue to work as a team," Meczywor said. "Obviously, our soccer season was a little disappointing, but they're continuing to work together as a team and help our community."
Lamarre and Ghidotti have been leading the charge to plan the event, along with the rest of their team. The booster club is also serving as a sponsor for the event.
Meczywor said the original goal was to have 10-12 teams and help raise about $1,000. Ghidotti and Lamarre both said the team would be happy with any money that it could raise.
"I just hope a lot of people will come out and realize what this is all about," Lamarre said. "We just want to have them come out and try to help people in our community."