BABSON PARK, Mass.—Babson College and Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges Together) over time have practically become synonymous with one another, as men's soccer is now the seventh Beaver varsity program to join Team IMPACT after officially welcoming four-year-old Will McHugh before today's non-conference game against Lesley University.
Men's soccer joins fellow varsity programs baseball, men's basketball, field hockey, men's ice hockey, men's lacrosse and softball as Team IMPACT members.
Team IMPACT is a northeast-based non-profit organization aiming to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. Team IMPACT strives to provide team-based support for children facing the hardships associated with adverse issues and events to significantly enhance their quality of life.
"This was a great introduction for our Team IMPACT player Wild Will McHugh of Westwood," said head coach Jon Anderson. "As he was introduced with our starting lineup, I know our players, his parents and everyone involved had a genuine feeling of connection with our team, which was the whole idea today. Backing that up with the great effort by the team and playing one of our best games to date, it really made the day special for everyone here."
Will, who is affectionately called Wild Will of Westwood by his father, was diagnosed with lissencephaly brain malformation at nine months old. It is a rare brain malformation with the absence of normal brain folds in the cerebral cortex. Will is one of just 12 kids nationwide with the diagnosis. Although non-verbal, he is very expressive and connects well with people.
During Will's official visit, he and his parents, Bill and Donna, met and interacted with the Babson coaching staff and players. Before women's basketball sophomore Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) sang the national anthem, Will joined Babson's starting lineup out at midfield prior to the opening kick. He then joined the team on the sideline cheering them to victory.
Read more about Team IMPACT.