Fighting cancer one kick at a time


Ashley Jiang

Lyndsey Mitchell (12) lines up for a goal kick in last year’s Kicks Against Cancer game. The boys and girls soccer teams played Eastside College Prep last Friday for this year’s games.

by Anjay Saklecha and Ashley Jiang

Students and faculty supported the varsity boys, junior varsity boys and varsity girls soccer teams during the annual Kicks Against Cancer event last Friday. The three teams played games back-to-back, providing endless action and supporting Camp Okizu by selling food and merchandise.

The Harker School and Camp Okizu have been working together for eight years now, trying to support, fundraise and help Okizu’s mission come true. Camp Okizu’s website states that “the mission of Okizu is to provide peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs to meet the needs of all members of families affected by childhood cancer.”

The money raised through the event allows northern California families affected by childhood cancer to attend the programs free of charge.

Starting last week on Jan. 17, the soccer teams began selling merchandise during lunch. As in previous years, the soccer teams sold T-shirts and baked goods to fundraise. They also sold objects at the game too, including candy, hair ties, raffle tickets and wristbands.

Beginning at 3 p.m., the varsity boys soccer team played against its Eastside College Preparatory School equivalent. The team’s overall record for this season is 3-5, with their league record 1-1. Through the obstacles this season, the boys still have high hopes for season championships and wins for future games.

“I think it has a lot of significance for both the team and the community as a whole, it’s kind of like a way to give back and the fact that we’re having a fundraiser for Camp Okizu and we’re raising money for these kids, it’s become a part of Harker tradition to give back to the community,” Rishi Iyer (11), a member of the boys varsity team, said.

Playing together with my team is making a great experience an ever-better experience

— Allison Lee (9)

The next game was between the varsity girls team and the Eastside team at 4:30 p.m. The girls have an overall record this season of 6-2-1 with a league record of 3-1. Their hopes of making league championships are high due to their early winning streak.

“This game is for such a good cause, helping these kids try and persevere through their hardships and obstacles,” varsity girls player Allison Lee (9) said. “Playing together with my team is making a great experience an ever-better experience, especially with the inspiration the smiles on the kids’ faces are giving us.”

During the halftime of that game, spectators were given a chance to play “Butts Up” with faculty members. “Butts Up” is a playful game in which faculty members stand in the goal with their backs to the shooters, and people take shots at them. Each shot can be purchased for $2 each.

Finally, the junior varsity boys team played against the Eastside team at 6:15 p.m. Their record is 1-5-1 this season. Contrary to previous years, where the junior varsity team played first at 3 p.m., this year they played last.

The varsity boys next team played against the German International School of Silicon Valley yesterday at 3:30 p.m., the girls varsity soccer team plays Mercy High School on Thursday at home and the junior varsity boys team plays at King’s Academy tomorrow.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on January 24, 2017.