Rival high schools come together for mental health awareness
Two rival teams faced off Friday, but the score wasn't what people were talking about.
There's nothing like a good rivalry and Briarcliff and Pleasantville have one of the best.
"We respect each other 100%, but when it's game time, we're here to get those bragging rights," Briarcliff Varsity girls soccer head coach David Villalobos said.
So maybe you'd be surprised to hear Friday's game was more about coming together than about tearing each other apart.
"It means everything," Brian Halloran said.
The teams used the game at Pace University as a first annual fundraiser for the Halloran family's foundation, Break The Hold.
"Break The Hold was established probably three days after the passing of my son, Brian Thomas Halloran," Jolina Halloran said.
Break The Hold reflects her son's initials.
Halloran was a Pleasantville football player and honors student who took his own life during his freshman year of college.
"One of the most earth-shattering experiences I could ever imagine," Halloran's father said.
Break The Hold provides mental health education and awareness for high schools.
The Hallorans say there have been nearly 80 suicides in Westchester alone this year.
"It means a lot to the Pleasantville community," Pleasantville Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach Anthony Portera said.
It was his idea to hold the game.
"Raising awareness that it's a common thing, it really helps people who do have mental illnesses," Pleasantville senior co-captain Jessica Beck said.
"Especially, as athletes, mental illness is very, very important," Briarcliff senior co-captain Karina Bar said.
The teams hope to grow the event and include the boys teams next time.
If you need help or know someone who does, you can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.