Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Football squad shears supportive heads

Joe and Kaycee Keizur love football.

Joe is the founder of Century Youth Football Association, a Century High School feeder program that offers flag football for younger kids and tackle football beginning in third grade. The program promotes discipline, responsibility, teamwork and sportsmanship as core values.

When Joe founded the league three years ago, his wife was right by his side. In fact, the two have been side-by-side since they were 15 years old.

It was a tough day a year ago when Kaycee, 37, was diagnosed with a rare cancer, multiple myeloma. A cancer of plasma cells found in bone marrow, it’s diagnosed primarily in adults over 60, and most often in men.

Joe and Kaycee have a strong support network of friends, but none more so than the Century Youth Football eighth-grade varsity team.

Joe, along with Jeff Conover, has coached boys on the team since they were 10 years old.

“Those boys are like family,” Joe said. Many of them are friends with his 13-year-old son Andrew. “I care very much about their future. Kaycee is a huge football fan and enjoys [watching them play] so much.”

Kaycee has undergone chemotherapy treatments, but didn’t lose her hair.

More recently, she had a stem cell transplant and lost her hair.

Conover, along with his son, Jacob — the team’s quarterback — hatched the idea of asking team members to shave their heads as an act of support and solidarity for Joe and Kaycee.

“Joe and Kaycee have meant a lot to us … they are very giving,” Jeff Conover said. “I thought it would be a rare opportunity for some of these kids to think bigger than themselves.”

Jacob talked with some of his teammates, and they helped convince every team member to shave his head. And so on a recent Saturday during practice, the boys went bald.

The following Monday evening, Crystal Ferrante, Jaycee’s friend, took her for a drive past Brown Middle School where the team practices.

Squad members walked over to the fence.

“They slowly took off their helmets, one by one,” Ferrante said, and showed Kaycee their heads. “It was very moving.”

“Kaycee didn’t have a choice to lose her hair,” Jacob said. “We did.”

Jacob and his teammates presented the Keizurs with before and after photos of the team.

“Appearance is so important to them [at this age],” Joe said. “It was a great sacrifice.”

Jeff Conover said none of the boys has complained about his new hairstyle.

“One of the guys had curly golden locks down to his shoulders. He’s new to the team. He shaved his head, too,” Jeff said.

“It was going beyond to make someone else feel special,” Jacob said.

The team had a pre-season Jamboree last weekend and is ready to play some football.

“We’re looking pretty good,” Jacob said of his team — and he’s not talking about just their new coiffures.



Local Weather

Fair

70°F

Hillsboro

Fair

Humidity: 53%

Wind: 5 mph

  • 15 Sep 2014

    Mostly Clear 90°F 53°F

  • 16 Sep 2014

    Partly Cloudy 80°F 55°F