AC News Service
When Coaches vs. Cancer Day arrives at Angelina College on Saturday, there'll be enough story lines to fill several pages.
All of those teaming up to generate donations to the Lufkin chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Start with the Lady Roadrunner softball team, which opens its season against Bossier Parish with a doubleheader beginning at noon. The big story will be new head coach Mark Mattson making his AC debut after arriving back in the summer. Mattson's previous teams were among the nation's junior college leaders in home runs every season, so fans in attendance can expect a new breed of wall bashers among the 2013 Lady ‘Runners.
Then there's the Roadrunner baseball team, also playing its season opener on Saturday. AC will host San Jacinto in a pair of seven-inning doubleheaders starting at noon. Head coach Jeff Livin and his troops are returning to Region XIV's East Zone after a one-season hiatus in the South, and the team will be looking for a quick start after missing out on the conference tournament in 2012.
Later in the day, just across the street, both AC basketball teams will be in action. With their season already past the halfway point, the Lady Roadrunners and Roadrunners are jockeying for position in the upcoming conference tournament scheduled to open in just five short weeks. AC's ladies (13-7, 5-2) currently hold the third-place spot in Region XIV's standings and will play Kilgore College at 4 p.m. The Lady ‘Runners are also looking to extend their unbeaten streak at home: They have yet to lose at Shands Gymnasium this season.
Finally, the Roadrunner men, the surprise team of the conference, will host Lee College at 6 p.m. Picked to finish fifth in the conference's pre-season polls, the ‘Runners (14-7, 7-3) are in first place in the South Zone after winning some big games on the road.
Area youth and high school athletes wearing their team jerseys or t-shirts pay no admission to Saturday's games. There will also be memorial cards available for the Wall of Honor in which those touched by cancer may pay respects to loved ones. In addition, there will be items raffled off as part of the fund raising.
Most important, the proceeds generated from the big day will go toward the worthiest of causes: Helping fight cancer.
Vicki Shimer of the Lufkin chapter of the ACS said Saturday is a big day for her organization; she said the ACS every day is "saving lives and creating a world with more birthdays."
"The money raised from Coaches vs. Cancer on Saturday will go to help patients here in Angelina County with transportation to their cancer treatments, provide the general public with education on cancer prevention and support our efforts to find cures to end the disease through cancer research," Shimer said. "With the support of the community and Angelina College's Coaches vs. Cancer, we are making strides to finding a cure that destroys so many lives in Angelina County."