This Friday, a sea of purple will serve as a show of support for McKinney residents who are battling all types of cancer and struggling with its effects.

McKinney Boyd varsity football players will each wear a purple sash bearing the name of a loved one whom they will honor this night. The loved one may be currently battling cancer or may have died from the disease, but the goal of the project is to raise funds to support local residents fighting cancer.

The public is invited to participate by purchasing a purple shirt. Proceeds will go to fight cancer in the community. For more information on the special fundraising project, please go to http://www.boydathleticscommunityproject.com/.

"The players will line up before the game with their loved ones or representatives to be introduced, and they will walk on the track much like senior night," explained Jennifer Santos, McKinney Boyd Athletics Community Relations Chair. "After all player and honoree introductions, there will be a game cheer and the players will get ready for regular play. Freshman and junior varsity players will be in their jerseys while also wearing a sash bearing the name of their loved one. They will line the portion of the track not being used by the varsity player and families."

During the first quarter of the game, the freshmen and junior varsity football players will pass purple helmets through the stands to accept donations.

Some football players have chosen sashes that honor and support loved ones who have touched their lives through McKinney ISD.

Daylon Markham, for example, is honoring Tracy Newton, whom he has known since elementary school. Newton has 21 years of service with McKinney ISD and is currently the beloved counselor at Slaughter Elementary School. She's been the counselor at Slaughter Elementary for the past 11 years and is currently battling cancer.

Isaiah Warren is honoring Valerie Wright, who began fighting breast cancer last year. She had been the school nurse at McKinney Boyd since it opened in 2006. Wright now is recovery nurse at Baylor Medical Center at McKinney and is helping others through her work in oncology nursing.

Head Coach Don Drake and the entire team are also honoring Willie Wilson, who was a member of the McKinney Boyd freshmen football team at McKinney Boyd. Wilson developed brain cancer during the spring of his freshmen year and was no longer able to play.

"He then became a manager for their football program and did an amazing job for his 10th – 12th grade years," Drake said. "He had surgery during his freshmen year, battled back and we all thought he had defeated it. Some tumors came back during his senior year. He had surgery at the end of last year again and has continued to fight his battle. He’s a fighter and represents our MTH (meaner, tougher, harder) philosophy its truest form. These and many other loved ones will join the varsity players on the field to create cancer awareness, and show we will fight!"

The purple sashes the players will wear were made with the help of a local merchant and the McKinney Quilters Guild. Laura Kay Houser, owner of Happiness is...Quilting on the Historic McKinney Square, graciously offered space in her shop for volunteers to put the sashes together.

And, "if you haven't seen our McKinney Boyd Band performance yet, it will be one to remember," Santos said. "They will perform their entire show and be a sea of purple lights and flags as well!"

Purple Out Details:

  • Oct. 26 during the McKinney Boyd vs. Allen Eagles football game at Ron Poe Stadium in McKinney. Proceeds from game day shirt sales will go to fight cancer our community.
  • All the information for this project, how to get a purple shirt, how to get involved and to volunteer, can be found at www.boydathleticscommunityproject.com.