5A football: Colorful tape a way for Bingham player to honor family friend
The traditional blue has returned for the Bingham Miners, with the exception of the ankle tape on senior fullback Sione Finefeuiaki.
While pink, which represents the fight against breast cancer, was the norm in October, only Finefeuiaki still sported that color when Bingham rolled past Lone Peak 48-13 during the Class 5A semifinals Friday night.
One ankle taped in pink. The other ankle taped in yellow.
The pink is a symbol of another kind of cancer for 3-year-old Mariah Teller, and the yellow was forKearns High School.
Yes Kearns, whose last two appearances in the 5A playoffs were identical 38-0 opening-round losses to Davis last year and Bingham in 2011. Finefeuiaki was a sophomore starter on that Kearns team that fell to the Miners.
"I tell them [Bingham teammates] that it's for my little sister," Finefeuiaki said. "They say, 'Stop wearing that Kearns stuff.' I say, 'I represent my little sister. I'm trying to represent my family.'"
Mariah, whose name is written down the left arm of the Miners' senior on game days, is the little sister of close friend Marcus Teller.
The Finefeuiaki and Teller families grew close at Kearns before both headed to different school districts. The Teller family adopted Mariah around the time it relocated to Woods Cross, where Marcus graduated last year.
It also was only about a half-year ago that a cancerous tumor was discovered on Mariah's brain stem.
"It's gone down, but it's an inoperable tumor on her," said Mele Finefeuiaki, Sione's mother. "The size has gone down 43 percent they say. All they can do is watch it and keep happy memories."
"She's just a little girl. They didn't know what was wrong with her, just noticed that she was drowsy all the time," said Sione Finefeuiaki, who had a pair of carries for 19 yards in the 48-13 victory Friday. "She's been on all these different kinds of chemotherapy. We were so very close to each other. When in October, for breast cancer awareness, I started wearing yellow and pink, everybody started asking me what the yellow was for.
"It's for my little sister, who's fighting cancer. I want to fight for her every Friday night."
Bingham coach Dave Peck said that Finefeuiaki's choice to wear the colors is emblematic of his team's wider efforts.
"This group as a whole is trying to help people all the time," Peck said. "We raised over $5,000 for a family in South Jordan, where there's a father who doesn't have much time. This is a special group of kids."