Verona, Caldwell To Open Football Season With Game For Suicide Awareness

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Both the Verona and Caldwell football teams will be wearing ribbons on their helmets in the colors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The Verona High School football team travels to Caldwell this Friday night for a game that kicks off football season–and Suicide Awareness Month.

“If we can reach one person and save one life it is worth it,” says Verona Coach Kevin Batty. “Suicide has affected me, and members of my coaching staff too. So we are going to help prevent it any way we can.”

“We talk to our kids all the time,” Batty adds, “and we tell them that if there is anything wrong, day or night, they can reach out to us.”

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Dan Romano, the athletic director at James Caldwell High School, agrees. “These are stressful times for our young people,” he says. “We welcome the opportunity to bring awareness to this important cause and what better showcase than this traditional Verona-Caldwell football rivalry. It is our hope that we can impact many of our students in need and if we make a difference in even one life, then we have succeeded.”

The game, which kicks off at 7 p.m., is a precursor to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walk in Verona Park on Sunday, October 20. The walk has been opened to all towns in western Essex County this year. As part of that expansion, Glen Ridge and Weequahic high schools will play their game on Saturday, September 21, for suicide awareness. Rob Hill, the new athletic director at Glen Ridge, was formerly an educator and coach in the Verona school system.

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