Santa Ynez High School Pirate Football Players are going pink Friday night Oct.21, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to show support for all those in our community battling cancer, especially with the recent loss of Coach Carl Rio.

Both Varsity and Junior Varsity players will wear pink socks during their games on Friday, October 21 against Lompoc High School. Junior Varsity begins at 4 p.m. and the Varsity game kicks off at 7 p.m.

“Go Pink Night is a meaningful Santa Ynez Football tradition as players and coaches honor all women in their fight against breast cancer.  This year it’s more than that. We want to recognize all those battling cancer and who have fought hard against this insidious disease, the recent passing of Coach Carl Rio makes this year’s event especially meaningful for our team” said Varsity Head Coach Josh McClurg.

“Carl was an amazing man and mentor to all the kids who new him,” McClurg added.

Rio passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from a battle with cancer, according to the family. Per his wishes, there will be no memorial service. Rio got more involved with volunteering for valley organizations and coaching the football and baseball teams at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, when his son Jeff died in a car accident in 1996, but he has always been involved in the community.

Football Boosters with Charlene Hiatt will hold fundraising efforts at the game including a Pirate Football helmet signed by all players, a 50/50 raffle, cupcakes donated by the Solvang Bakery and other baked goods.  A local medical device company has offered to match donations up to $2000 in support of this year’s fundraising program.

In memory of Carl Rio, 100 percent of the fundraising proceeds will go to the Jeff Rio Memorial Scholarship Fund and all of the matching contributions will go directly to the Sansum Multi-Specialty and Cancer Center in Solvang.