There were about two dozen University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse players on the field at McGuirk Alumni Stadium yesterday afternoon - clad in all of the typical attire they would wear to a pre-season practice. They had all of their usual playing equipment with them, too - and they jockeyed their lacrosse balls back and forth and maneuvered around the field.
But for a few moments at yesterday's practice, members of the squad took respite to help deliver a unified message: bullying needs to stop.
They, along with other students and athletes at UMass, participated yesterday in a campaign put together by the ABC TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that strives to curb bullying. The show, which travels around the country to build new homes in a week for families with compelling stories, is in the greater Pioneer Valley area this week to build a home for the family of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old Springfield boy who hanged himself in 2009 after enduring severe bullying.