Orange Out supports Childhood Cancer Awareness month

School stands behind coach’s daughter diagnosed with leukemia

Sierra Rickerson, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, September 13 the high school changed their school colors from purple to orange to show support for Childhood Cancer Awareness, and rallied together for Orange Out Day.

Specifically, the student body, faculty, and administration came together to support Football Coach Wesley Sauls’ two-year- old daughter, Elliott, who was diagnosed with leukemia over the summer.

“When Elliott was first diagnosed, we were obviously devastated. We didn’t know which way was up or down and lived that first month just doing what the doctors told us to do. Thinking about work was impossible and friends went on the back burner. Our only focus was on Elliott,” Sauls said.

“Right before she was diagnosed, we had just purchased a new home and were planning to move in. While my wife and I were focused on Elliott and her healing, dozens of coaches and teachers alike joined together to help move all of our belongings into our new home. We were completely blown away by the outpouring of support. Some brought us food or toys for Elliott and hundreds of JVHS faculty, students, and alumni contributed to our GoFundMe for Elliott’s medical bills. When we heard that Jamie Webley wanted to plan a Team Elliott “A Cure Worth Fighting For” night at a football game, I felt incredibly humbled,” Sauls added.

Falcons geared up in orange from head to toe to cheer for “A Cure Worth Fighting For” and the varsity football team in their first district game and Coach Saul’s daughter.

Sierra Rickerson

Webley, athletic secretary, also took orders for and sold Orange Out T-shirts to help the Sauls’ family financially and rally the school together for an Orange Out Day.

“Jersey Village is a family and when one of us needs a helping hand, we come together. I did this to help out a family in need and make sure that the awareness was the leading reason,” Webley said.

Falcons did lend a hand, collecting $5000 from t-shirt sales alone, according to Webley.

Falcons helped through buying the shirts, and cheerleaders and people in the stadium crowd cheered knowing that this game was not just a win for the team, but a win for Elliott’s fight against cancer. Elliott even joined in making a brief appearance at the game.

Sierra Rickerson
At the Orange Out game, Alex Ramos, junior, supports the Falcons by being a flag runner. He also supports Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by wearing the Orange Out shirt for Team Elliott.

“[She] had such a blast running around while Allie (Elliott’s mom) tried to keep her from running into the students’ section,” Sauls said. “I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for each one of you. Our Orange Out game for Team Elliot was a huge success,” Sauls said.

Sauls said that they appreciated everyones’ support that Orange Out would not have happened without the support of all involved.

“My family and I are so blessed to be a part of such an amazing crew. Your continuous support means so much to us,” Sauls said. “. It is truly a rare thing and a blessing to have a family in the place you work,” Sauls added.

After the game Thursday night the JVHS family went home with not only a varsity win of 25-21 over the Cypress Ridge Rams, but more optimism about the ability to stand up against cancer and hope for Elliott.

In addition to the Orange Out football game, the volleyball team also held a special game to support the Sauls family. Together with Teacher Appreciation Night the team presented a custom-made Build-A-Bear to Elliott.

Kayleigh Kopesky
At the Jersey Village Teacher Appreciation Night and Varsity Volleyball Orange Out Game, Coach Wesley Sauls (in purple), who’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia this summer, joins Greg Higgins and Ahmed Khawaja, social studies teachers, and Laura Oswalt, Human Anatomy and Physiology teacher, as they try their hand at serving the volleyball. The evening was the second Orange Out event held by the high school to support the Sauls family.

In addition, PALs did a Miracle Minute which included the spectators placing their pocket change into a bucket and within the span of two minutes a total of $367.53 dollars was raised for Elliott. The opposing team, Stratford High School Spartans, also arrived with orange bows in their hair to present Elliott with flowers, a banner, and a comfy blanket.
“Whatever it takes to help one of our own,” Carrie Schneider, varsity volleyball coach said.

This is not only the motto for the volleyball team, but shows that the team members live by their motto.