The beads hanging from Canyon del Oro High School coach Dustin Peace’s neck after Friday’s football matchup against Sahuaro carry much more significance than the game itself, and it was the Game of the Week in Southern Arizona.
The importance of the beads is enhanced with the young Dorados — who are at the stage of becoming more socially conscious — maturing from wearing them. They also have one of the beads on their wrist.
“Each player and each coach has a bead,” Peace said. “It’s called ‘Share a Bead.’ So, we have a bead and at the end of the season, people that are in the hospital or in trauma get a bead of courage for a procedure they may have went through or something where they’ve had a long-term stay.
“It will actually be personalized from the Dorados. It has a personalized message from us. As the season winds down, we’re hoping to connect with the people that get those beads.”
The beads worn around the neck are weekly awarded to players who are referred to as “Courage Captains.”
“Kids that have done something in the line of being a great teammate, showing courage in the classroom, out of the classroom, whatever it may be,” Peace said. “That’s what the ‘Beads of Courage’ has been . It’s kind of like our community effort that we try to do.
“In years past, we’ve done shoe drives, we’ve done things, this has kind of been our community effort as we move forward. After the season, it will give us something to wrap up and continue to keep those bonds and show the appreciation to the community that they show us coming here Friday nights.”
Many of the CDO players are also wearing pink as part of their uniforms with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Peace, his coaching staff and the Dorados are 7-0 this season with the chance to become state champions on the football field by season’s end.
It can be stated with CDO being this socially involved, with the Beads of Courage and bringing awareness to the fight against breast cancer, the Dorados are already champions.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.