PHS principal and coaches get cold for a cause

Pelham High School Principal Jason Yohn, Baseball Coach Sean Anderson and Basketball Coach Joel Floyd completed the ALS ice bucket challenge during halftime of the Panther's preseason jamboree game on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo / Neal Wagner)

Pelham High School Principal Jason Yohn, Baseball Coach Sean Anderson and Basketball Coach Joel Floyd completed the ALS ice bucket challenge during halftime of the Panthers’ preseason jamboree game on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo / Neal Wagner)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Halftime got chilly at the Panthers’ Aug. 22 pre-season jamboree game, as Pelham High School Principal Jason Yohn, Boys’ Basketball Coach Joel Floyd and Baseball Coach Sean Anderson were doused in ice water for the ALS ice bucket challenge.

The ALS ice bucket challenge was started in Boston and has quickly spread across the country. The challenge was inspired by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates as a way to bring awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that he and thousands of Americans battle every year.

“Coach Floyd came up with the idea,” Anderson said of the idea to complete the challenge during halftime.

“I had one of my basketball players challenge me,” Floyd said. He spoke with Anderson and they decided to “do something a little more than just complete the ice bucket challenge. “We got our new principal Dr. Yohn. I asked him earlier in the week and he said he would be more than happy to do (the challenge).” Floyd said.

Anderson, Floyd and Yohn sat on a metal bench during halftime as members of the Pelham baseball and basketball teams dumped coolers of ice water on them.

“It was a lot of fun,” Floyd said. “I think they (the baseball and basketball players) had more fun than anybody, getting to pour the cold water on us.”

Anderson, Floyd and Yohn extended the challenge, nominating family members, coaches at Helena, Vestavia Hills and Hewitt-Trussville high schools, Pelham Mayor Gary Waters and City Council President Rick Hayes.

In addition to the ice bucket challenge, members of the PHS basketball and baseball teams collected donations for ALS research during the football game, raising $410, Floyd said.

“It was the right thing to do. ALS is a lot of times related to sports,” Anderson said, noting the special significance of ALS in baseball due to Lou Gehrig’s struggle with the disease.

“It’s just a great cause,” Yohn said, highlighting “the fact that the community can come together and do this for a cause.”

“It was a great night,” Floyd said of the experience.