It took a few days of reflection for Lexington soccer coach Will Gettys to see beyond the disappointment of the Wildcats’ loss in the Class 4A soccer championship.
“Immediately after losing the state championship, it’s hard to find the positives, but after two weeks, you really begin to see all the other achievements that you’ve had on and off the field,” Gettys said.
For the Wildcats, who lost to Irmo on penalty kicks, a big positive underscoring their season is the $10,300 the team earned through its “Cats Kick Cancer” fundraiser.
With local businesses pledging $110 per goal, the Wildcats finished with 70 goals and will donate the proceeds to Children’s Chance.
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With sales of “Cats Kick Cancer” bracelets, whose $2,600 proceeds were donated to a local cancer support organization, the Wildcats have raised and donated more than $33,000 in the campaign’s three years.
“That’s a pretty big accomplishment,” Gettys said. “So, hopefully, we are teaching these guys that even if there isn’t an opportunity, you can create opportunities to do good.”
Gettys will spend this summer soliciting pledges from new businesses for next season, and he hopes to increase the pledge total to $125 per goal.
“Something like this doesn’t work if the community doesn’t buy into it, and we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of support,” Gettys said.
Case in point, when Gettys saw a local dermatologist this spring, he asked for and received a new pledge for next season’s campaign.
“That was pretty cool,” Gettys said.
Twelve players return for the Wildcats next season, and a dozen will be promoted from junior varsity. All are looking forward to participating in next year’s fundraiser.
“It kind of motivates them, to know that they are out there making a difference,” Gettys said.