The weather didn't cooperate for all of the first official meeting between Augusta Christian and Augusta Prep's girls soccer programs.
By the end of Tuesday's game, a 15-0 Cavaliers win, the sun had disappeared behind the pines. When the final buzzer sounded, players quickly donned sweats and headed inside or to the parking lot.
But for a while, the sun shone on Blanchard Field and highlighted the pink shirts worn by Cavaliers players to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society and breast cancer research. A lock box was placed on a table near the stands where fans could donate money to the non-profit group.
Pamphlets with information about ACS and breast cancer were available and the game programs were printed on pink paper. Augusta Prep coach Forrest Wimberly said he received a positive response from those he spoke with.
"I think we definitely accomplished what we were out to do," Wimberly said. "We got people talking. We raised awareness of what the cancer society is doing, which is wonderful in our community."
On the field, the matchup showed the difference in programs.
Augusta Christian's program is in its third season, with its third head coach in as many years. Jason Miller, also a coach with the GA-SC Bulls club soccer program, said his first task was to prove to his team he meant business.
"When I came to practice and they were goofing off the first time and I actually made them run, they kind of straightened up real quick," Miller said. "And they knew that I was serious about it. They've given me a lot of intensity since then."
Wimberly said he could appreciate Miller's situation. He faced a similar task when he took over at Augusta Prep four years ago.
Now, his team is deep and loaded with club players who also participate with area select teams such as the Augusta Arsenal or the Bulls.
"We struggled the first year I was the coach here, just because we didn't have the depth," Wimberly said. "That's the thing I think distinguishes us from a lot of the teams we're going to play this year. We've got the depth with the talent."
Miller is hoping he can move the Lions in that direction. He said the Cavaliers would probably be among the most difficult opponents his team would face this season, but that the philanthropic nature of the game made it worth scheduling.
"That's fine with me -- we lose 12-0, 50-0, 6-0, I don't care," Miller said. "As long as it's for the right cause, I don't care."
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