Valley, Woodgrove Unite for Epilepsy Awareness


Jake Rimmel

Senior Riley Kotch wears a purple armband during football game

A year ago, if anyone on the football team had worn a purple armband, students wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Now, it signifies something much larger to Valley, Woodgrove and the community beyond: epilepsy awareness in honor of Collette Baine, a Woodgrove senior who passed away at the beginning of this year. 

As the Valley vs. Woodgrove game grows near, the two schools have set aside their famed rivalry to commemorate Baine and raise awareness for epilepsy. 

Kaylee Renehan, a sophomore, isn’t sure that she’ll be going to the game—but also wasn’t aware it was for epilepsy awareness. 

“I think it is important to spread awareness because it’s something that a lot of people struggle with, but you can’t see it on a surface level,” Renehan said. 

Some students, like sophomore Parker Price, are planning on going to the game, but similarly weren’t aware of the game’s goal.  

To raise money for The Epilepsy Foundation, camouflage shirts with orange text reading “THE JUNGLE” and “#CB13”, an acronym in honor of Baine and her basketball jersey number, were sold on the student section’s Instagram page until Oct. 14.

Although the local high school sports teams foster a tight knit community full of support for this cause, there are some students who don’t appreciate raising awareness via football. Some of these students, like Senior Chloe Dybwad, are aware of the cause of the game but find their support outside of the stadium. 

“I just think there’s other ways to support an issue than going to a sports game.” Dybwad said. “I’m not a fan of school sports that much, so I don’t really go to them, but it’s important.” 

Her friend, senior Charlie Routh, agrees that sports wouldn’t be his pick, explaining that he would rather directly give money than go to a football game for a cause.

But whether a fan of football or not, the general consensus seemed to be that epilepsy awareness, and awareness in general, needs to be more widespread. Senior Maryan Vaughn advocates for disease awareness and never being quick too judge what others are dealing with. 

“I think it’s important to know about what other people are struggling with, so if you meet someone who has epilepsy, you can help,” Vaughn said. 

The game will occur this Friday, Nov. 4, but both on and off the field, the Purcellville community will be continuing to fight for epilepsy awareness.