Oct. 14, 2016
WASHINGTON - With Saturday afternoon's Georgetown-Lehigh football game serving as GU's annual Friends of Jaclyn (FOJ) Foundation game, Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata and his coaching staff have selected the three game captains. Leading the Hoyas in their first Patriot League game of the season will be Jackson Dundon (offense), Elijah Davis (defense) and Willie Hughes (special teams) -- three members of the football program from the FOJ Foundation.
Along with providing inspiration and leadership, the trio will take part in the pregame coin toss and will be on the GU sidelines for the contest against the Mountain Hawks.
"Over the course of the 2016 season we select game captains - representing our offense, defense and special teams -- to join our 2016 permanent captains, No. 35 Tim Barnes and David Akere. These game captains are chosen based on their leadership and commitment to our program. This weekend we are honored to have Elijah Davis, Jackson Dundon and Willie Hughes serve as our game captains. They all have displayed tremendous leadership and commitment in their brave fight against cancer."
On April 7, 2014, the Hoya football family grew by two when Jackson and Elijah, two young pediatric brain tumor survivors, became Hoyas for life in a special "Signing Day" ceremony. On Friday, Georgetown officially welcomed a third FOJ youngster to the football program with the addition of Willie Hughes.
The Hoyas, under the guidance and leadership of Assistant Coach Kevin Doherty, have been very committed to ensuring that Jackson and Elijah, and now Willie, are active members of the football family. In addition to the trio having a standing invite to every practice and game, Doherty have selected captains from each class who are in charge of maintaining constant contact with the youngsters. Not only do the players hang out with Jackson, Elijah and Willie when they are on campus, but also keep in touch on a weekly basis via either a phone call, a text or through social media. Additionally, each semester the entire team puts together a video message to send to each child.
"One of our three core principles is the Finnish term SISU," Sgarlata explained. "It translates as `courage in the face of adversity without complaint.' Our program could not have a better real life example of SISU than the amazing strength and perseverance of Elijah, Jackson and Willie. We are honored to be able to participate with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and continue the outstanding work of Denis Murphy and the team at FOJ. We are a better program with Elijah, Jackson and Willie as a part of the Hoya Football Family.
"Coach Kevin Doherty has done a tremendous job with the implementation of our FOJ program. I often say, the people make the place. Coach Doherty is definitely one of those people who make Georgetown a truly special place and I am blessed to have him on our staff."
The FOJ Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers by pairing them with local high school and college sports teams. The program was founded in 2005 by the family of Jaclyn Murphy, a then-10-year old who had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Today, FOJ has helped nearly 700 families of children with brain tumors and other childhood cancers.
For more information on the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, please click HERE.