This year the Cavalier football team and volleyball team are honoring UVa-Wise Athletic Director Danny Sterling, as he battles colon cancer.
Each team has represented colon cancer awareness with team members wearing blue, the color of the colon cancer ribbon, on some part of their uniform.
Members of the football team sport blue ribbons on the back of their helmets, and the volleyball team has worn blue shoelaces every game since the start of the season.
According to junior outside hitter and member of the Cavalier volleyball team, Kelsey Smith, the team wants Danny Sterling to know that he has their support.
“We want him to know that we’re behind him 100 percent and we want to help raise awareness for colon cancer,” she said. “It means a lot to our team because UVa-Wise is a small school, [and] our athletic director supports us so it means a lot to us that we can turn around and show support to him. It brings our team together for a much bigger cause than playing volleyball.
According to Junior Wide Receiver Terrence Younger, the cause means a great deal to the football team as well.
“We decided to honor him as a team because he’s one of our athletic directors and also all of the hard work that he puts in each day for all athletics,” he said. “There was no better way to honor him each and every day that we go to work on the playing field.”
Sterling is often seen at sporting and he said he is honored that the athletic teams have chosen events to honor him.
“UVa-Wise and the athletic department is family, and we rally around each other in good times and bad,” Sterling said. “I am honored and humbled at the support of the college, the community and the student athletes. It is my sincere hope that the gestures of the teams and my story will raise awareness of this terrible disease.
“I have learned quickly that a positive attitude plays a major role in overcoming any adversity you face. Attitude is one of the few things you can control. The support that I have received has given me the strength to maintain a positive attitude. I will forever be in debt to the student athletes for the strength they have given me.”