This week’s game of the week was at Minnechaug Regional School over in Wilbraham.
But these kids were playing for more than just a shot at winning a football game or making it to playoffs.
They were playing for their teammate Ryan Doyle.
Ryan is a senior at Minnechaug who was diagnosed with cancer over the summer and his football teammates were heartbroken to know their all-star player and friend wouldn’t be able to play, so they dedicated the season to him.
“We’re dedicating the season to Ryan Doyle, so is really one of our better players in the time I've been here the last ten years. And he’s team captain battling cancer, and we’re dedicating the whole season to him,” said Coach Steve Allosso.
Dedicating the season to Ryan Doyle after his cancer diagnosis over the summer was no question for the Minnechaug football team.
Their battles on the turf are nothing compared to what Ryan is going through.
“We remember it. We keep it in our mind every time we go out on the field. On the practice field in the game-- everything. He’s keeping his head up too and he's enthused about it. We know that as long as he's okay, then we're okay and we just have to get our job done out here on the field,” said Jamel Smith.
Ryan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer common in children.
He has been battling every day since with his teammates by his side.
Other teams in western Mass have heard about Ryan’s diagnosis, and Chicopee Comp raised and donated money to the Doyle family last week at their game against Minnechaug.
Something the Falcons knew nothing about until they announced it at the game.
These kids don’t need any more motivation than playing under the lights on a Friday, but knowing that one of their captains isn’t on the field with them puts a fire under them that you can’t know unless you’re in their shoes.
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