The West Babylon girls’ tennis team did more than just play tennis on Friday afternoon, raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation during its matchup with Sayville in a culmination of its fundraising efforts throughout the season.
“This is my first year as coach of the program, and so I wanted to inegrate some community-oriented events for the girls, to do something that transcends athletics,” West Babylon head coach Keith Houghtaling said. “Earlier in the season we discussed it and we decided on this date. The girls have done so much work, most of it on their own and I hadn’t had to push them. They’ve been asking friends, family, teachers and people in the community, they’ve done a great job with it.”
The team put together a pamphlet and went around the community in asking for donations, even setting up a GoFundMe page. The original goal the team set was $500, but it far exceeded that, raising about $1,100 towards the Susan G. Komen Foundation. To contribute to the cause, a few of the Sayville players donated money as well during Friday’s match.
“As athletes, you have to be role models for your community, and you are supposed to be setting an example. Not just with your athletic skill, but with what you do and how you give back to your community,” Houghtaling added. “These girls represent West Babylon every time they step on the tennis court, and so it’s also good to represent that community off the courts.
And I think that the way they did this is a great example of how they are more than just student-athletes, they’re good people.”
Sayville would win the match 7-0 to improve to 7-2 in Suffolk’s League III, but the afternoon was about more than just the tennis.