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Nailers’ Drevitch making a difference

WHEELING — Wheeling Nailers forward Tyler Drevitch has seen first-hand how difficult it can be to take on cancer.

That’s why he has been doing his part to stand up to the dreaded disease.

Drevitch joined a foundation called ‘Movember’ four years ago to raise money and awareness for men’s health and he is zeroing in on his goal of raising $500, while also rocking an inspiring mustache in the process.

“I’ve been with ‘Movember’ for four years,” Drevitch said. “I started back in college and I’ve been doing the mustache for probably close to 10 years. I think it’s a great cause and it’s easy for teammates to help out and support. It’s a fun way to get guys to show their true colors as they get creative with their mustaches. It goes to a great cause — men’s health — and it supports different people. People close to me have struggled and are struggling with cancer. Shout out to my mom back home. She had cancer but she is all good now. My skating coach back home Michael Botticellli is currently battling cancer. He just went back to work and is doing what he loves so shout out to him. I’m dedicating this season to him. He’s a warrior and a tough Boston guy.”

Not only does ‘Movember’ raise awareness for cancer but it also brings attention to mental health, which quietly goes unnoticed, especially in the sports world.

“You don’t realize it because everyone puts on a smile for fans, media and maybe teammates but behind closed doors a lot of guys are battling — whether it’s depression, anxiety or substance abuse,” Drevitch said. “Whatever it may be, sometimes it’s closer than you think. I think we’ve gotten better with it over the past couple of years because a lot more people are speaking up about it but there is a long way to go. If I can chip in and do my part and raise some money to help save or change someone’s life, I take a lot of pride in that.”

At the moment, Drevitch has raised $326 this month, which is close to doubling his number from last year of $190. He has raised $754 since 2019 and is still aiming for his goal of $500 but needs the help of the community to reach the pinnacle.

“It’s a great cause,” Drevitch said. “The Nailers have the link up on their website and social media. I have it on my personal social media (@Drevy4 on Twitter and Instagram), as well. Any kind of donation goes a long way.

“Every November I come close but I think this might be the year. I’m over where I normally am around Thanksgiving and my teammates have done a great job of helping out and spreading the word. A lot of them have their creative mustaches going so it’s pretty cool to see the guys rallying around it.”

The question is, who has the best mustache?

“I can’t take credit,” Drevitch said with a laugh. “I’m probably the most invested in my mustache with the time and effort but Tim Doherty has a really good one. It fits his face well. He has a baby face so it makes him look a little older. (Josh) Victor has a goatee going. My buddy Jeff Solow, in Iowa, who we play this weekend, has a nice handlebar mustache. Coach (Ryan Kuwabara) was the front-runner for a while. Smitty (Adam Smith) is trying some thin peach fuzz, which fits him. It’s good to get creative with it and have some fun with it.”

Nailers head coach Derek Army is in full support of Drevitch’s drive to help bring awareness to a good cause and says that his initiative is even bringing the team closer together.

“It’s an unbelievable cause — anything to raise awareness,” Army said. “As a team we very much care about the community and people around us. I think Drevy is a prime example of that. He is the first one to do a youth event and charity like this is pretty cool. You see a lot of mustaches, which is really cool from a support standpoint.

“The guys just get it. This time of the season could have some lulls but having something fun that all the guys can be a part of is great and a lot of mustaches look good in the locker room.”

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