Prep Basketball

For Xavier girls' basketball team, it's more than a game

HS journalism: Players are wearing ribbons to show support

Xavier’s Mary Kate Moeder (30), looking to pass under pressure from Decorah’s Abigail Milburn in November, wears ribbons, as do all Saints players, to show support for teammate Maddie Steger and her father, Tony. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Xavier’s Mary Kate Moeder (30), looking to pass under pressure from Decorah’s Abigail Milburn in November, wears ribbons, as do all Saints players, to show support for teammate Maddie Steger and her father, Tony. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Xavier girls’ basketball team is wearing one red and one blue ribbon on their basketball shoes this season.

Freshmen Maddie Steger Steger has ulcerative colitis, preventing her from playing basketball this season. Freshman Mary Kate Moeder’s father, Tony, has frontotemporal dementia.

The coaching staff wanted to incorporate a way for Steger to feel as if she were on the court with her teammates and for Moeder to feel support from the Xavier community.

They came up with ribbons.

The red ribbon has Tony Moeder’s initials inscribed, while the blue ribbon has Steger’s initials.

The ribbons were handed out to the players before their first game against Davenport Assumption.

“I was still in the hospital when I found out about the ribbons and it was the highlight of my day,” Steger said.

Steger’s condition leaves her in and out of the hospital. However, when she is at school and with the team she tries to support the Saints any way she can. Oftentimes, Steger will watch the varsity girls’ practice and support them from the sideline.

The ribbons make her feel as if she still is part of the team.

Moeder, like many other players, uses the ribbons as motivation.

“The ribbons are a reminder to play for the people who can’t and to put heart into your game,” Moeder said.

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The thought behind the ribbons mean a lot to Moeder. She could not be more thankful for the support from the Xavier community.

The Saints have lost five straight games and stand 8-5 heading into tonight’s game at Waterloo West.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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