Kutztown, Hamburg battle it out in Field Hockey Cancer Awareness Game

Kutztown and Hamburg played against each other in a Field Hockey Cancer Awareness Game Sept. 30. The teams honored Kutztown senior cancer survivor Niki Nolte and Kempton father Ethan Kunkel.
Kutztown and Hamburg played against each other in a Field Hockey Cancer Awareness Game Sept. 30. The teams honored Kutztown senior cancer survivor Niki Nolte and Kempton father Ethan Kunkel. Submitted photo - Dennis Krumanocker

The Field Hockey Cancer Awareness Game, Kutztown vs. Hamburg, Sept. 30 raised awareness about cancer and celebrated cancer survivor Kutztown senior Niki Nolte and Kempton father Ethan Kunkel who is battling cancer. The two teams combined for a picture and awareness celebration for both Ethan and Niki.

Held at the Kutztown High School Field Hockey Field, the final score was 4-1 with Hamburg on top.

To raise cancer awareness and honor Ethan and Niki, T-Shirts made by the team were sold in honor of Ethan and Niki.

“It was orange and green tie dye, orange representing leukemia and green representing lymphoma,” said Niki. “There was a stand at the game selling baked goods, food, and doing activities to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Donations were also accepted.”

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Ethan’s daughters are members of the team, Morgan Kunkel, a junior; Elissa Kunkel, a sophomore; and Hallie Kunkel, a freshman.

Niki was a member of the middle school and high school Field Hockey team starting varsity player as a freshman.

“Before her junior year started, she had to make a really tough decision and she chose to concentrate on swimming only. She missed the sport and the girls on the team,” said Niki’s mother, Melissa Nolte. “This is a team who is still a family to Niki. As you can see, they still thought of her during the cancer awareness game. It is one big family and the girls and coaches are awesome.”

“It was amazing to be a part of the team again and honor the fight (I went) through, along with Ethan, with both teams by our sides,” said Niki.

“The support has been wonderful from everyone,” said Melissa. “The Kunkel family are very dear friends of ours who we love a great deal. The support from the field hockey team was wonderful. Niki only wished Ethan was there to share the fight and support with her. Niki’s and Kunkel children’s retired principal came to show his support, Mr. Peter Miller. The community and athletic support have been wonderful.”

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.