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Cougar teams put best foot forward in support of teachers wife
Their shoes say it all.
WESTON RANCH — The school colors for the Cougars are still maroon and gray.

But since the beginning of the season, members of the Weston Ranch High girls basketball program have subtly added teal or turquoise and purple to the mix.

Those happen to be the favorite colors of Kyla Virtue, who is the wife of the school’s world history teacher Joey Virtue. According to varsity coach Chris Bauer, Mrs. Virtue was recently diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s a rare form of childhood cancer that she contracted as an adult,” said Bauer following his Cougars’ 75-47 Valley Oak League victory over Lathrop on Thursday. “We’re told that the outlook (for her recovery) is slim.”

Noticeably missing at the home games is Joey Virtue. In recent years, he’s been the program’s most ardent supporter.

“Joey usually sits right there,” said Bauer, pointing to the Weston Ranch High scorers’ table. “He’ll work the shot clock, operate the scoreboard or do the (stats) book.”

 He reportedly took his wife to Reno for further treatment.

As a show of support from the program, players at all three levels - varsity, sophomore, and freshman - decided to honor Kyla Virtue by wearing her favorite colors on their uniform at the start of the season.

 Many chose to lace their sneakers in Kyla’s colors.

“When I called Joey to ask of his wife’s favorite colors, I knew that teal (or turquoise) would be a tough one to find,” Bauer said.

Timnesha Wilson, his standout senior point guard, found turquoise laces but had to go to Modesto.

“It’s our way of letting Mr. Virtue know we care,” she said.

Wilson laces up both of her sneakers in that color.

Jazmin Strane and Emily Medeiros both wear the colorful laces on their right shoes. Marceen Bryant sports the color on her right sneaker.

 Bauer was proud of his team for the show of support of the Virtue family. Included are their two children.

 “They asked a lot of question about the illness,” he said. “They understood what was going on.”

 Joey Virtue has made it a handful of games this year. He, too, was touched by the gesture as displayed by his Cougar basketball family.

 “He told us how proud he was of the support we showed for him and his family,” Wilson said.

 As for the Weston Ranch players, they’ll continue to wear the colorful shoelaces throughout this season.