October 4, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Linemen battle raises funds for good cause

The Big Man Battle is a tradition Skowhegan football coach Matt Friedman brought with him from Madison. This summer, the money raised from the Battle was ticketed for the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center in Farmington.

At halftime of tonight’s game against Cony, the Indians will present a check for $3,000 to the Breast Care Center. In addition, the Skowhegan players will wear pink to support the fight against breast cancer.

“The boys are doing pink shoelaces, pink ribbons on the helmets,” said Ryan Libby, Skowhegan’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. “Some of them will be wearing pink wristbands.”

The Big Man Battle was held on a hot day in July, when eight schools (Skowhegan, Madison, Waterville, Foxcroft, Oak Hill, Belfast, Dirigo, and Morse) sent teams of offensive and defensive linemen to take part in a strongman competition. Libby said the events included the tire flip, the bench press, a relay race with a weighted sled, and a truck pull.

“We made the boys continue the fundraising, so the Big Man Battle was only half of (the $3,000),” Libby said. “The plan is to allow this to grow. The Big Man Battle is on for next summer.”

The Skowhegan field hockey team already puts on an annual event each summer, called the Battle For Breast Cancer. Liz Richards, a volunteer at Franklin Memorial Hospital, said the money can go toward things like mammograms, screenings, and follow-up treatment.

“The restriction is they’re working people who don’t have insurance or are under-insured, or they were working and had to stop working because of the illness,” Richards said. “We’re targeting the people who slip between the cracks. Mostly, it’s to help people have treatments, and get people in and give them mammograms because they’re making the decision, ‘Do I have a mammogram, or do I buy food?’”

Richards said a mammogram, including screening and readings by a radiologist, typically costs about $300 if there is no insurance coverage. She added that 1 in 100 cases of breast cancer are found in males.

“Treatments are extremely successful if it’s caught early, and that’s our big point,” Richards said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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