JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Every November people from across the country take part in a unique cancer awareness initiative by participating in No-Shave November. This year was no different and the Jacksonville University Baseball program proudly took part.
“The beard certainly got itchy at times, but just like the other guys on the team I had to fight through it for the cause,” sophomore Josh Baker said. “I think knowing that we were all supporting each other and doing it together really brought us closer.”
The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing ones hair, which many cancer patients lose, by letting it grow wild and free.
“Braddock Rowe had one of the better one’s,” added Baker. “But it was the comparing and contrasting we did amongst each other that help us form a tighter bond as a team.”
Junior catcher Garrett Ruckel believes the challenges of No-Shave November serve as a metaphor for the Dolphins this season.
“Every challenge we face this season is going to be bigger than each of us individually,” said Ruckel. “In order for us to have success we are going to have to attack the whole season and every obstacle as a team.”
Ruckel, who is usually pretty clean shaven, joked that it was also a way to justify some laziness in the morning
“It helped saved a few minutes getting ready in the morning that’s for sure,” said Ruckel with a smile. All joking aside, he knows the impact that participating in No-Shave November will have on the team.
“It helps us be a part of something that is bigger than us. We took some ownership in it as a team and going through it was a good way to build up chemistry.”
“I’m blessed to not have anyone in particular that I’m connected with that has been affected by cancer, but I know a lot of the guys on the team do,” added Ruckel.
“Just knowing that there is a better cause that we were doing this for motivated us even more to support one another.”
Building a bond in November goes a long way, and when adversity arises in the Spring the Dolphins will be up to facing the challenge together.