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Beyond the Game: Personalized helmet stickers inspire football team

UAM football helmet (KATV photo)

They are tiny tributes with massive meaning.

During the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the University of Arkansas at Monticello football team is wearing two decals on its helmet. One is common: a pink ribbon. The other is not: a picture of an individual that has been affected by the disease. The personalized sticker can be anyone close to a UAM player.

"It's about our guys being able to honor someone in their life that has been in the battle with breast cancer," UAM Head Coach Hud Jackson said.

Sophomore offensive lineman Keaton Phillips has a picture of two women: his grandmother and great-grandmother. Both underwent double mastectomies.

Senior wide receiver Jalen Tolliver has a picture of his aunt, who lost her life to the disease.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. In 2017, about 255,180 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. alone, according to UAM Sports.

"Having that on a piece of equipment that they go to work in everyday sort of just gives them that personal touch," Jackson said.

As the Boll Weevils battle, therefore, they are reminded of those battling with more than a win or loss on the line.

"This is very important to the guys that have pictures on their helmets. It just shows a different side of our players."

The team is 3-0 in the month of October.

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