‘Kicking’ Cancer Out of Childhood


For Hoban Football, the names Shane Hamm, Mason Tipton and Deamonte Trayanum are synonymous with touchdowns. Be it a quick quarterback sneak or a 60-yard dash to the endzone, these three and more have given Hoban the offensive upper-hand multiple times. But after the mandatory endzone celebration dance, one more key aspect of the offense takes the field— four-star kicker, senior Jacob Branham.


Last year, Branham dominated the space between the goalposts, going seven for eight on field goals and 80 for 82 on PATs. With a 38.8-yard punt average, he’s given the Knights excellent field position, helping the defensive end of the ball as well. This year, however, Branham hopes to dominate one more opponent— childhood cancer.


Branham, who’s been kicking since the seventh grade, has partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand in hopes of raising money for children affected by the disease. For every kick successfully made, money will go towards the foundation in hopes of ‘kicking’ out childhood cancer.


“What inspired me to do this was my family and friends who have faced the battle of cancer,” Branham said. “I just wanted to find a way to help people, and kicking is the best way for me to do that.”


Direct donations can be made or a person can choose to pledge a certain amount of money per kick made, meaning that for every point Branham scores, their donation will rise. With a current total of $210, the fundraiser is well on its way to its $1000 goal. His family, friends and especially teammates have supported his cause undoubtedly, encouraging and hyping him up.


“Logan ‘Bear’ Broyles says “straight cash homie” to me before each kick,” Branham said. “The phrase was coined by Jack Griffith, but it has a whole new meaning now—my kicks are ‘straight cash’ for the kids.”


The fundraiser will end the first week of December, as Branham and the Knights expect to go far into playoff season. During the Ursuline game, a donation jar will be placed at the Dowed Field Store in hopes of reaching Branham’s goal.


“Thank you so much for the people who donated and for those that will donate,” he said. “I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting this cause, it means so much to me as well as the kids whose lives are at stake.”


So, after Trayanum, Tipton, Hamm or others score six for the Knights, fans will see #18 headed onto the field, hoping to kick cancer out of every childhood. With the Hoban family’s help, Branham will not only score big for the Knights, but also for innocent children.


To donate or pledge, please visit https://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1508901