Ridgefield High School athlete takes a shot at mental health with Morgan’s Message game
On Saturday, the Varsity Field Hockey team wore t-shirts with butterflies as part of an effort to call attention to the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community, empower those who suffer in silence and support those who feel alone. That’s the Mission of Morgan’s Message, an organization inspired by Morgan Rodgers, a Duke University lacrosse player who died by suicide in July 2019.
Ridgefield High School sophomore Gabby Lauretani organized the Dedication Game. “I decided to become an Ambassador for Morgan’s Message last spring and organized the Ridgefield Chapter of Morgan’s Message,” Gabby writes. “Dedication games are a popular way to promote Morgan’s message and I felt organizing one for the lacrosse team last spring was a great way to start raising awareness. My goal this year is to hold a dedication game for each sport that I play—field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse.”
Prior to the event, Gabby reached out to the Greenwich High School coaches, and the Cardinals team jumped right in. Gabby’s brother CJ helped edit the video below that includes photos of Morgan and important messages about mental health from both teams.
Gabby writes, “My coaches have all been so supportive. When I organized the lacrosse dedication game against New Fairfield, their coach, a guidance counselor at the school, loved the idea so much, that he had a chapter started at New Fairfield High School. Game Time CT wrote an article last spring about mental health amongst student-athletes and included our game in its article, which brought a lot of attention to the foundation locally. I hope to continue building the awareness that has come from these events.”
The game ended in a gutsy, come-from-behind victory for the Ridgefield Tigers with a game-winner after overtime by senior captain Isabella Tuccio.