As they ran out on the field at Scotty Wood Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Muhlenberg football team sported their usual home uniforms of cardinal with white Muhlenberg letters written across the chest. But on this third Saturday in October, in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Mules symbolically wore a new color scheme in their 42-18 win over McDaniel.
Fans and others at the stadium wore pink, the universally recognized color of breast cancer awareness. The game was yet another initiative by Muhlenberg College during the month of October to raise awareness for the disease. Off the field, the fans, student body included, showed tremendous support for the cause, while the on-field result was a tremendous success too.
Head Coach Nate Milne is in his first full season leading the Mules from the sidelines, and despite the team’s success on the gridiron, he is very fortunate to be able to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness month to help others.
“Anytime our team can make a positive impact we will look to do so, “ said Coach Milne. “The National Football League has done a great job in their campaign for Breast Cancer awareness and many corporations have bought
in as well to provide products that our players can wear to show their support for those who have and continue to battle breast cancer. Football is a male dominated sport and anytime we can show appreciation for women and the battles that they go though we will continue to do so.”
Wide receiver Ryan Curtiss, ’20, had another productive game with 4 receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. In addition to his continued dominance on the field, he elaborated the importance of representing the Muhlenberg football program in support of such an important cause.
“Playing and supporting Breast Cancer Awareness is an awesome thing to be a part of,” said Curtiss. “To me it is very important because I have family who have had breast cancer and I know people who currently have breast cancer. I go on the field with pink socks and a pink towel to support them in the fight against cancer and indirectly bring them for the fight against each team we play in October. I fully support the fight against breast cancer and always look to help in any way I can.”
In this pink-out week, the Mules added another win to their record to continue their undefeated start. It is the team’s first 7-0 start to begin the season since 2008. The team’s current winning streak of 10 games, which includes the last three games of the 2017 season, is actively the fourth longest in all of Division III football.
Next on the Mules schedule is the annually anticipated rival against Johns Hopkins University. This year’s contest, which has the Mules traveling south to Baltimore, is an opportunity for the team to clinch at least a tie for the Centennial Conference Championship. The game at Hopkins is also a homecoming for running back James Diggs, ’21, who hails from Baltimore, Md.
“I just look forward to being able to go to compete with a group of guys that I feel are really special, “ said the sopho- more running back who ran for 68 yards in the win over McDaniel. “It’s going to be wonderful to be home and see friends and family at the game to support me but at the end of the day we have to complete our mission. That’s why we’re there and that’s all I will be focused on until the clock hits zero in the 4th quarter.”
Although Hopkins has tended to be a challenge for the Mules, the team is not viewing this game another different than another scheduled matchup. Everyone on the roster, from the coaching staff to the players, is aiming to put in the same amount of hard work each day during the week to optimize their chances of playing well as a team, leading to a victory. Quarterback Michael Hnatkowsky, ’21, echoed this sentiment that his coach has told his team all year.
“It comes down to our preparation week in and week out,” said Hnatkowsky. “Coach emphasizes that we need to work hard physically and mentally during the week and our reward will be wins on Saturdays.”
The Mules look to move to 8-0 on the season when they battle the Blue Jays, starting at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday in Baltimore, MD.