Towson High boys soccer hosts Hereford to raise awareness for cancer

Towson boys soccer hosts Hereford to raise awareness for cancer

After not playing a soccer game for 20 days, the Towson boys soccer team finally played on back-to-back days last week — and they had three more this week.

But the one coach Randy Dase is looking forward to the most is being held on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 4 p.m. against Hereford.

It will be the second annual Men’s Cancer Awareness game.

Dase missed the first Men’s Cancer Awareness game last year after he had surgery on Sept. 1 for prostate cancer.

“We have like 12 players back and because of how I felt about the situation, my dad had prostate cancer 25 years ago, and what the game meant to me, I said, ‘We’ve got to do this again,’ ” Dase said.

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St. Joe blanks Calvert Hall

St. Joe blanks Calvert Hall

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St. Joe blanks Calvert Hall

St. Joe blanks Calvert Hall

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Hereford wins 5th set 17-15

Hereford wins 5th set 17-15

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NDP blanks Garrison in field hockey

NDP blanks Garrison in field hockey

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Sara  Mandreja leads Towson with 15 kills in a win over Dulaney. (Craig Clary / BSMG)

Sara  Mandreja leads Towson with 15 kills in a win over Dulaney. (Craig Clary / BSMG)

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Hereford beats Dulaney volleyball in five sets

Hereford beats Dulaney volleyball in five sets

He was diagnosed with the cancer in June of 2016 and his players had the game in his honor. They raised $900, which was donated to the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“It’s been an interesting ride the last year and a half, but the game they held last year was so cool, so we figured we would try to keep the tradition going and it’s going to be on my radar as long as I’m around,” said Dase, who returned late in the season last year for the Generals, who went 14-3-2 and won a regional championship.

This year’s Generals won six straight games after a season-opening 1-0 loss to two-time defending Baltimore County champion Catonsville.

Last week, Towson, loser’s in the 2016 county title game, defeated Perry Hall, 1-0, and Patterson Mill, 2-0 and they blanked Pikesville, 4-0, this week. A healthy Dase was on the sidelines all three victories.

“I’ve had three tests since [surgery] and my most recent test I’m still cancer-free, so I’m very fortunate,” said Dase, who is in 30th season as a soccer coach at Towson.

He is in his 42nd year teaching at Towson High.

Although he missed the Men’s Cancer Awareness game last season, Dase got a glimpse of what went on when tri-captains Adam Coplai, Jack Baker and Austin Kirts stopped by his house and shared pictures from the 2-1 victory over Sparrows Point.

Coplai graduated, but his mom, J.B. Coplai, continued to help support the game.

“Last year, she was the one, with the captains of the team, who really got things started and our athletic director [Justin Nash] stepped in, so it’s a combination of their doing that brought the first Men’s Cancer Awareness game,” Dase said.

“She [Coplai] is just a great person and always been involved in the boosters, so I gave her a call.”

The message from last year lasted well after the game.

“We received publicity at the local level and we received national publicity and then as time went on, I can’t tell you the number of people I ran into,” Dase said. “I was getting phone calls from some of my friends and buddies who were enquiring about prostate cancer. I was sort of a consultant, which was outstanding because the purpose of the game wasn’t as much the money, but it was the awareness.”

In April, players from the soccer team were made more aware of prostate cancer when they visited the Brady Institute and toured the labs and operating facilities and were spoken to by Dase’s surgeon, Alan Partin.

“It’s really interesting to see the boys,” Dase said. “They learned a lot being at Hopkins and we have outstanding parental support and my soccer players are great young men who are good citizens and fine examples of student athletes.”

Towson’s co-captains, James Thorne and Thomas Lewis, as well as all the varsity and JV players on both teams, will wear blue wristbands and the Towson players will wear blue ribbons on their sport coats during the school day.

In addition to Thorne and Lewis, this year’s Towson roster includes seniors Chris Dohony, Diego Menegatti, Daniel Schuck, Kushal Giri, Alex Lema, Tristan Arias and Nico de Jesus, juniors Teagan Hersh, Grant Kuehn, Andrew Schuck, Ben Niyibizi, Colin Connelly and Bryce Vanik, sophomore David Hutch and freshman Caeden Fong.

Towson students can also get involved.

“It’s spirit week, so on Thursday, wear blue for prostate cancer or wear pink for breast cancer,” Dase said.

Every fan that enters the game will receive a blue ribbon.

“All we are asking for is donations,” Dase said. “There will be buckets at the entry at the ticket gate and at the concession stand and we will have blue ribbons flying.”

The Towson Booster Club voted to have all the money made from the concession stand to go to the Brady Institute.

Before playing Perry Hall last week, Dase had no idea what to expect from his team that went nearly three weeks without a game because of schedule problems and a postponement of the Dulaney game because of field issues.

“So far, we’ve had success which I’m pleased, but we lost our goalkeeper, our whole back line, an all-state midfielder and a couple strikers, so we are starting a little bit from scratch,” said Dase, who is assisted by Michael Constantine. “We’ve been very pleased with the work ethic and the hard work of the kids.”

cclary@baltsun.com

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