By Devin Smith
Cardinal Rule Editor
Even in times of emotional duress, the show must go on.
So is the case for the Troy women’s soccer team as player Kailani Decock is undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Decock’s coach Chris Bentley, along with her teammates and the entire soccer program, have taken initiative and are promoting #Project19.
The purpose of #Project19 is partially to create awareness in the community and those associated about those who have to battle this illness, as well as unite Trojans across the globe in support of Decock.
“The big thing is that social media has been great for us,” said Bentley. “The other thing is that we have over 600 people wearing bracelets now, so it’s building and getting better, and we’re excited about it.”
At this point the Twitter page has over 1,000 followers and the Facebook page is over 1,500 likes, which is a sentiment to what being a Trojan is all about.
“I think it just shows what a great community we have and it shows that we’re a good family,” said Bentley. “Ultimately that is what people want to be a part of.”
With the season starting officially on Friday against Alabama State it is easy to see how something so personal could negatively affect any sports program, but Bentley is confident in his team’s ability to stay on course.
“I think we just have to look at the bigger picture,” said Bentley. “We’re playing games, right now it’s just about playing a game and we have to stay focused on that. The bigger picture can be Kailani, I’m sure there is some emotion out there but it might be good to get out there and kick the emotions out a little bit.”
Despite its short-term success, Bentley believes this is just the tip of the iceberg for what he and his program are trying to accomplish.
“Push the hashtag #Project19,” said Bentley. “The more we do that the more we can get the word to everyone and hopefully a follower of someone can be the one who can make a difference.”