Friday, October 18, 2013

Lansingburgh Football Celebrates One of Its Own

It's Coaches vs. Cancer week in the Section II football world and while some schools are selling t-shirts or trying to raise awareness, the Lansingburgh squad is using the event to honor one of their own.

Mike Ryan, a '96 Lansingburgh grad and letterman in football, bowling and baseball, passed away this past August after fighting a battle with cancer.

On Friday, the Knights honored Ryan by wearing and selling t-shirts with "Bacco Strong," combining Ryan's nickname and his admiration of Colts coach Chuck Pagano's battle with cancer with last season.

"I said we've got to do something," 'Burgh coach Jeff Pasinella, who played football with Ryan, said. "We came up with the idea for the shirts and it was great."

Ryan's family was in the stands on Friday night as the Knights clinched a sectional berth with a 42-35 victory over Albany Academy. Also, in the stands was Ryan's father Ernie, who is the president of the Lansingburgh Pop Warner. Several of Ernie's former players wore the t-shirts under the game jerseys as well.

"Coach Ryan gave all the coaches one of the shirts and a few of the kids that he coached in Pop Warner wore them," Pasinella said. "He was a good friend of my family for a long time so it was nice that we were able to do something."


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