July 25, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Girls basketball coach grows hair, beard for charity

Cloverleaf’s senior basketball players, from left to right, Emily Civittolo, Meredith Illig, Lexxie Fowler and Jessie Lindemeyer check out junior varsity coach Lance Price’s hair style. Price let his hair grow out to donate it to the Wigs for Kids Foundation. Wednesday night, it will be cut between the junior varsity and varsity basketball game at Cloverleaf. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Lance Price is known as an extremely laid-back and outgoing guy.

So when the current Cloverleaf junior varsity girls basketball coach decided he was going to grow out his hair in order to donate it to charity, most weren’t surprised.

He doesn’t mind the stares he gets because of a beard similar to a member of the band ZZ Top, especially because it’s for a worthy cause.

“With my personality, I have the guts to be able to laugh it off,” Price joked. “It’s been fun, no matter what people say. It’s forced more people to ask me why I was growing it out and I could tell them about what I was doing.”

Price grew his hair for the Wigs for Kids Foundation, a charity organization that has providing hair replacement systems and support for children who have lost their hair due to accident, illness or medical treatment. It comes at no cost to the children or their families.

It was an idea that came to the 33-year-old’s mind when his son Owen was at the Cleveland Clinic for an appendectomy.

“He was in the children’s ward at the clinic and I saw all of these kids suffering,” said Price, who has been a coach on John Carmigiano’s staff for the last seven years. “Just that little thing brings them joy.

“Some people reach for their wallet. Not everyone can do that, but I can grow my hair. This was something easy I could do to give back.”
So since last season, Price’s hair has grown. And grown. And grown.

It has drawn looks and double-takes from people and even occasional teasing from his two sons.

When the Colts take on Waterloo at 6 p.m. Wednesday in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Foundation Game at Cloverleaf, the hair will come off.

Stylists from Magnificuts on Grafton Road in Valley City will do the honors on the court between the junior varsity and varsity games.

Fans are invited to not only come out to get an early-season look at this year’s Cloverleaf squad, but participate in an event that will feature a raffle that includes 20 baskets and tickets to sporting events and area restaurants. Admission is $5 for students and adults with the proceeds going back to Wigs for Kids.

It’s been worth any of the uncomfortably long stares from strangers, as Price has had to find different things to do with his hair as it kept growing and growing.

“Lots of pony tails,” the Lafayette Township resident said. “My wife (Danielle) loves the night when she would straighten my hair. The goofy things, I think she really liked it. I was the girl she never had.”

While Price may never meet the youngster that will benefit from his hair, he knows he did the right thing.

But would he do it again?

“I absolutely would,” Price said. “My 6-year-old son is already talking about doing it himself.

“The experience has been great. The people at work have been supportive of me doing it, along with family and friends. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.