Phillylacrosse, Posted 4/16/20
From Press Release
Inspired by the overwhelming success and viral social media campaign surrounding #LastShift2020, #1 nationally ranked Culver Academy boys’ lacrosse coach Jon Posner and #1 nationally ranked McDonogh School girls’ lacrosse coach Taylor Cummings are joining forces and empowering their colleagues as well as high school athletes nationwide to join their teams at noon on Monday, April 27 by participating in a continuation of the #LastShift2020 Virtual 5K Challenge specifically for high school student-athletes.
“Given the range of cancellations, restrictions or suspensions to the spring athletic season we as coaches have been working closely with our players through conferencing platforms,” said Posner. “Our meetings are steeped in positivity, encouragement and optimism.
“Naturally, our hearts are breaking for these players who have had the rug ripped out from under them alongside the cancellation or changes to some major life events including the season, prom and commencement. When I learned about #LastShift2020, I immediately engaged our team and together we participated in the collegiate centered event raising more than $4,500 in less than 24 hours.
“I ran the 5K with my team and witnessed how uplifting and positive the experience was for our players and was so inspired that I connected with the HEADstrong Foundation to see how we could drive it at the high school level. We’re going to do it again on April 27 and are challenging our colleagues and high school athletes across the country to go the distance with us. Let’s go!”
Student-Athletes can register NOW and on Monday, April 27th are being encouraged to represent their programs by wearing their official school jersey or team swag during the run. While many schools, parks and tracks are closed due to restrictions, participants should run through their neighborhoods, on their treadmills or can even jog in place. The key to this campaign is broadcasting your run via social media and uniting with fellow athletes across the country using #LastShift2020.
There are 3 easy ways to support HEADstrong, so that they may strengthen their commitment to those at highest risk as they fight cancer:
Campaign: The Last Shift Virtual 5K High School Challenge
Organizers: Jon Posner and Taylor Cummings
Date: Monday, April 27, 2020
Time: 12:00PM EST (Corresponding Time Zone)
Social Handles: #LastShift2020 @HEADstrongFND
What If Our Season Is A Go: While there have been numerous states that have yet to officially cancel the spring athletic season, HEADstrong has provided (3) simple ways for teams to participate in the event that restrictions and suspensions are lifted. 1. Schedule your run on another date that is more fitting to availability. Run as a team during practice. 3. Pledge your game if it falls on April 27th, as the average athlete runs 3.1 miles or the distance of a 5K race during competition.
The reality is that for thousands of high school student-athletes, the difficult but necessary decision to halt the spring season due to the global COVID-19 pandemic has been a crushing blow. The tough call to suspend the school year has left many high school students in a fog. #LastShift2020 is a moment of solidarity in support of those who’ve had their season halted as well as an opportunity to give Seniors the ability to have closure to their high school careers on their terms, while rallying in support of a charitable cause.
“Overcoming obstacles, rising above adversity, facing life’s challenges head-on and being a community steward are just a few traits that we as athletes possess and right now the competitors in all of us want to compete in some way,” said Cummings.
“#LastShift2020 gives us that chance. Our hearts are with the countless families who have been impacted by this global pandemic, especially those living with pre-existing conditions and at the highest risk of complications. Our athletes have been resilient, mature and are hopeful for brighter days ahead.
“While so many things have been taken from them over the past month, we are stronger together and as a Coach, I am so proud of our players and their willingness to use their platform to make a difference. We remain hopeful that we will get the chance to compete this year. Many of our players were inspired by the college effort on April 6th and they wanted to pick up the ball where their mentors left off. I am personally challenging all high school lacrosse programs on April 27th to go the distance for those at the highest risk of COVID-19 due to their cancer.”
For many Seniors, this season was the last hurrah, the culmination of their efforts and abilities, a shot at redemption and a chance to solidify their athletic legacies before college. For those who had hoped this season would be a storybook finish to their high school athletic careers, they’re now processing that their names will be part of an unexpected chapter in the high school sports history books and debates surrounding what could have been will always be in question.
“The recent health pandemic has only added a layer of complexity as our immunosuppressed patient population is at critically high risk, simultaneously their necessary treatments including chemotherapy, proton radiation, bone marrow, stem cell transplantation and imperative scans are being postponed and backlogged,” said Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom. “Between oncology teams transitioning to emergency rooms to meet the influx of patients to exposure related issues resulting in quarantines, the next few months are going to be really difficult for those in a preexisting fight and getting them the necessary treatments that they need.
“The economic climate is also taking a major toll on our families as many are losing their employment as the result of COVID-19. We are standing by these families and proudly playing our position through the storm.”
For more information on the Last Shift Virtual 5K Challenge or the HEADstrong Foundation, please visit www.HEADstrong.org.