Coaches vs. Cancer under way in the area

The battle against cancer is one that’s on-going nationwide.

Once again, basketball coaches all over the United States – both at the collegiate and high school level – are doing their part.

Locally, the Urologic Research Institute of the Schiffler Cancer Center at Wheeling Hospital, along with the American Cancer Center, is spearheading the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative in the Ohio Valley.

“By using the celebrity of basketball and its participants, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised in excess of $85 million for American Cancer Society research and patient assistance programs,” said Dr. Gregory Merrick of the Schiffler Cancer Center. “Importantly, these funds help support our local families in their time of need.”

The Coaches vs. Cancer program was established in 1993 and calls for coaches to wear sneaker with their dress pants or normal coaching attire rather than dress shoes.

The effort has been a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

According to a release on the program, the goal is to “empower local communities, basketball coaches and their teams to impact the fight against cancer.”

In the Ohio Valley, the Coaches vs. Cancer actually got under way Wednesday in the Wheeling Central vs. John Marshall boys game.

On Thursday, Bridgeport held a program in its girls’ game against Beallsville. Lady Bulldogs’ head coach Rob Zitzelsberger wore pink shoes and the players wore pink socks.

All told, 13 area games will hold a Coaches vs. Cancer game with four slated for tonight, weather permitting.

The annual showdown between Wheeling Jesuit and West Liberty, slated for Saturday at the McDonough Center, will also have all four coaches wearing tennis shoes.

The complete schedule of games is as follows:

High School Boys


Brooke at John Marshall

Wheeling Central at Linsly


Zanesville at Wheeling Park

Feb. 1

Edison at Indian Creek

Feb. 2

Madonna at Bishop Donahue

Feb. 5

Wheeling Central at Shadyside

TBD (Based on make-up dates)

Madonna at Bridgeport

St. Clairsville at Buckeye Local

High School Girls


University at Shadyside

Jan. 29

Wheeling Central at Wheeling Park

Feb. 1

Magnolia at Oak Glen


St. Clairsville at Buckeye Local (Based on make-up dates)



West Liberty at Wheeling Jesuit, women at 2; men at 4.

Staskey can be reached at