It’s the time of year where pink is in.
And North Jersey continues to celebrate breast cancer awareness month in a myriad of ways. There will be fund-raisers, bake sales, a soccer shootout contest, pink balls, pink ribbons, pink uniforms.
Even pink training tape.
In a sticky twist on the pink-themed month, Westwood athletic trainer Frank Armstrong ordered five cases of pink athletic tape to use on Cardinal athletes throughout October.
"Pete Creamer was getting taped up one day and asked if I had pink tape," said Armstrong, Westwood’s trainer for the past eight years. "I said why, was anybody in your family stricken, and he said no, but it would be a good way to support the cause."
Armstrong, who lost his mother to breast cancer, thought about Creamer’s question and went to athletic director Trish Benevento and asked to order pink athletic tape. She agreed.
"I’ve gone through half a case already," Armstrong said. "Everyone from seniors down to freshmen wants to wear it. I should have enough to last me through the end of the month, but if we run out, I will get some more."
Armstrong, 45, said the tape supplier, SportsHealth, donates some of the proceeds of the sales to offer free mammograms. He also said he was really struck by Creamer, a senior football captain, thinking of others.
"It caught me off guard, but he said he wanted to support the issue," Armstrong said. "Every so often, you see these guys emulate what they see on TV and the NFL, but a lot of times it’s trash talk … and showboating, but this was a good thing."
Armstrong said he was enjoying being able to help in a small way.
"You sit around and you think about what you can do to help people," he said.
"If this is something I can do to be part of the solution and it doesn’t take that much, why not?"
ON A CRUSADE: Elmwood Park had two honorary football captains Saturday for its game against Lodi. Without a doubt, they were the toughest people on the field.
Jason and Justin Leider, ages 5 and 2, respectively, are stricken with MPS II, an extremely rare genetic disorder that has no cure. The Leider boys were guests at Crusader football practice Friday, where they received signed footballs from the team.
On Saturday, they were on the field with the Crusaders at the coin toss and the Rams presented them with a signed Lodi helmet. There was an information tent sent up at the gate.
Both schools wore a white "x2" sticker on the back of their helmets for the game, won by Lodi. The same sticker was worn by all of the teams in the Elmwood Park Bombers youth football program Sunday.
There is a website, letthembelittletrustfund.com, detailing the boys’ diagnoses. Elmwood Park athletic director Joe Colangelo said the whole experience was valuable for the team and the Leider family.
"We are doing our best to build awareness of the disease, but we were just so privileged to help them build memories," Colangelo said. "I’m stealing that from the father a little bit, but this just provides them with memories to be able to look back on."
REMEMBERING LOU: Ramsey will hold a ceremony Oct. 14 during halftime of its football game with Fort Lee to christen its athletic complex the "Lou Molino Athletic Complex."
That, of course, is to honor the longtime athletic director who passed away last February.
There will be a sign placed about the football field scoreboard with Lou’s name. Already there is a plaque with Molino’s name and his accomplishments outside the main gymnasium.
Alumni and athletes who were coached by Molino are encouraged to wear blue and gold and attend the ceremony. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
QUICK NOTES: Paramus junior gymnast Nicole Medvitz — who created her own move on the balance beam last spring — has given a verbal commitment to Penn State. ... Wayne Valley still has not filled its wrestling coach vacancy. ... According to Ken Halloy, the promoter of Saturday’s football tripleheader at Fordham, there are no plans for Don Bosco to play at St. Edward (Ohio) next year. Bosco athletic director Brian McAleer said the team will host Manatee (Fla.) next year and open the season against Mission Viejo (Calif.).