Pirates to “Go Pink” for Breast Cancer Awareness month

Carl Rio was a coach at SYHS, but also a mentor, a community volunteer, and a friend to many in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Santa Ynez High School Pirate football players will “go pink” Friday night in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to show support for all those in the community battling cancer.

Both varsity and junior varsity players will wear pink socks during their Oct. 27 games against Pioneer Valley High School.

The junior varsity game is slated to begin at 4 p.m., with the varsity game kicking off at 7 p.m.

“Go Pink Night is a meaningful Santa Ynez football tradition as players and coaches honor all women in their fight against breast cancer, ” said varsity head coach Josh McClurg. “This year it coincides with our Senior Night program so it’s going to be a busy evening at Pirate Field.”

“Last year we lost Carl Rio and we want to recognize him and all those battling cancer.” McClurg added. “Carl and his son Jeff were integral parts of our football program at Santa Ynez.”

Rio got more involved with volunteering for valley organizations and coaching the football and baseball teams at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School after his son Jeff died in a car accident in 1996, but he has always been involved in the community.

Santa Ynez High School Football Boosters will hold a fundraising drawing at the game that will include a Pirate football helmet signed by all the players, a 50/50 raffle and a sale of cupcakes donated by Solvang Bakery and other baked goods.

Karl Storz Imaging, a local medical device company in Goleta is offering to match game night donations up to $2,500 in support of this year’s fundraising effort said Rich Crandall, vice president of the Football Boosters.

All of the fundraising proceeds will go to the Jeff Rio Memorial Scholarship Fund, and 100 percent of the matching contributions will go to the Sansum Multi-Specialty and Cancer Center in Solvang, Crandall said.

This year Go Pink Night coincides with Senior Night where all senior football players will be recognized with their parents or escorts.