By Tom Jackman, reporter, The Washington Post |
The journey started in the gym at West Springfield High School in 2004. The rookie coach of the girls volleyball team wept as he told his players he was struggling not only with teaching the sport but also with his mother’s recent diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer, the deadliest stage. The girls were speechless, stunned by Rick Dunetz’s raw display of emotion.
But they rallied around the coach in an electrifying run to the district championship, galvanized by his mother’s first appearance at the title game. Dunetz was struck by how the players and the patient fed off each other: The team’s underdog winning streak, he said, seemingly inspired his mother to keep fighting cancer.Button Text