Gold Out Game brings a bigger perspective than wins and losses

Members of the Sikeston boys soccer team watch as sophomore Dylan Thornbrough cuts head coach Gabe Dement’s hair at the Sikeston Recreation Complex, on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
Alex Wallner/Standard Democrat

SIKESTON — Sports took a backseat during the Sikeston boys soccer team’s match against North County at the Sikeston Recreation Complex on Thursday.

It was the annual Gold Out Game for the Bulldogs, a game where Sikeston dons gold jerseys and raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

After the Bulldogs 3-1 loss to North County, the team gathered around the goal post for a team photo and got presented with a check for $2,362 — the amount that got raised before the event.

All for a good cause, head coach Gabe Dement knows what this particular game means to him.

“We needed to do something to benefit the community,” Dement said. “We did Pink Out with girls; what can we do in boys? Let’s benefit someone or something, if it’s community or if it’s just anybody that needs help. It means a whole lot because of the kids we are able to help and the families that we’re able to help. I cannot imagine what it would be like — with two kids of my own — to have one of them having to be at St. Jude and fighting.

“But, if they’re going to fight, we’re glad we can benefit their fight. We’re glad we can help the fight, whether it’s research or paying the bills. St. Jude’s one of the most amazing organizations when it comes to, your kid gets cancer, it’s all paid for; we’re going to pay for their treatment. So, that is why we do this game.”

Dement — who got his head shaved bald by his players before the junior varsity game — added that having a team involved in the community is one thing that he admires about coaching and teaching young adults.

“You hope, within, however long you get to coach these kids that they take what they’ve learned from the sport of soccer and the Gold Out Game with them,” Dement said. “And benefit there family and their communities down the line in the future. So, that’s kind of what we hope for when having this Gold Out Game.

“The main thing is benefitting the kids and their families. Secondary is teaching the boys some life lessons on how important it is to give. Not just focus on yourselves, but others. You live like that; you’re going to have a great life.”

Former Bulldog Jared Boyd attended the event for the cause and has gone through this exact situation after losing his older brother to cancer.

Boyd said after the game that he has always loved this particular game and what the Sikeston program does for kids in need.

“I love it every year,” Boyd said. “I look forward to this game every single year, whenever we put this on, it’s for a great cause. St. Jude is an amazing organization that helps out so many kids that don’t have the privilege of being able to come out here or much less be able to do anything under their control. I think it’s a great thing. I’ve respected Coach Dement and Coach Cota ever since they’ve started this thing; an amazing amount of respect for whenever it comes to this. I think it’s a great thing they do.”

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