More than 60 girls from Antioch and Deer Valley high schools got together on the turf field at Pittsburg City Park last Saturday for their first-ever Penalty Kick Challenge, a fundraiser that benefited both soccer programs as well as the Rosie the Riveter Trust. The trust runs the Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Richmond, honoring American women's labor during World War II. Established in 2000, the memorial is the first in the nation to honor the estimated 18 million women who worked in WWII defense industries and support services.
"We wanted to have it so that it was more than just a high school fundraiser and tie it into the community," said Antioch head coach Will Whitney, who came up with the idea to donate 10 percent of the proceeds to the Trust. "It's a good cause to honor and support the tradition of strong women and the 'We can do it!' attitude. It's really a perfect fit with girls athletic teams."
In the past, Antioch High has gotten together with Pittsburg High for shootout fundraisers, but because the Pirates didn't have a head coach in place until a week before this season, Whitney extended an invitation to Deer Valley, which coach Lee Foster was quick to accept.
"Deer Valley and Antioch are sister schools," explained Foster. "Will Whitney is an awesome coach. I've known him for years. In fact, he coached my daughter, and when he approached me about the PK Challenge and told me about his idea to donate part of the money to the Rosie the Riveter Trust, I stepped right up and said OK."
Deer Valley won this year's shootout, the first of what both coaches expect to become an annual event, converting on 53 percent of its shots on goal while holding Antioch to 49 percent.
Even more impressive, both of Deer Valley's varsity goalkeepers were unavailable for the event. The recent downpour forced the teams to push back the event a week (moving it from Antioch's natural grass field to Pittsburg City Park's turf field), and one of the Wolverine goalies had already made travel plans that couldn't be changed; the other suffered an injury the day before that kept her from participating.
So Deer Valley JV freshman Dana Shoenberger, who hadn't played goalkeeper all season, volunteered to get between the crossbars and take a stab at it.
Although both teams are still in the process of collecting their pledges, Whitney expects each team to have raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000. And Foster expects the event to be even bigger and more successful next year.
For more information about the Rosie the Riveter Trust and Rosie the Riveter
Memorial, visit www.rosietheriveter.org. Donations to the trust should be sent to Rosie the Riveter Trust (ID # 94-3335350), 117 Park Place, Richmond, CA 945801.