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Crystal River community rallies around football player during breast cancer awareness month

Hudson Copeland lost his mother to breast cancer last year
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Posted at 12:41 PM, Oct 14, 2021

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — Hudson Copeland leaves it all on the field no matter the position.

“Tight end, defensive end, and long snapper,” Copeland said.

“He’s one of the pieces of the puzzle that’s allowed us to open things up a little more,” Crystal River High School head coach Cliff Lohrey said.

The do-it-all senior on the Pirates football team plays with a purpose. It’s been nearly a year since his mother Amy Copeland died of breast cancer.

“She was always in the stands, cheering, no matter what,” Copeland told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger

Now he works extra hard on the football field and basketball court to keep focused.

“From here on out, everything I do, she is looking down on it,” Copeland said. “No matter what I have to make her happy. I’m trying to do the best I can.”

The Crystal River community has really rallied behind Hudson and his family. On Monday, October 18, a local restaurant, Grannies, is holding a spirit night and spaghetti dinner with proceeds going to the Citrus Aid Cancer Foundation in memory of Amy.

“It’s really cool. It just shows how impactful the whole county is. It means a lot. It shows how important one person can be to a whole community,” Copeland said. “It shows how everyone has you back. It’s really cool.”

“Any small way we can contribute to his healing we are grateful to do that,” Lohrey added.

With October being breast cancer awareness month, Crystal River will wear pink socks for their game next Thursday against South Lake High School.

“The fact now it’s hit home,” Lohrey said. “We have a young man on our team that unfortunately lost his mother to breast cancer. It becomes that much more impactful for our players, our community.”

The spirit night and spaghetti dinner will take place at Grannies on Monday, Oct. 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10.