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Coach Sydney Acosta has a track record of winning.

As the Athletic Director and tennis coach at Assumption Parish High School in Napoleonville, Louisiana, Sydney, 56, led the tennis teams to over 1,000 winning games over his 33-year career.

When he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2010, his community came together to help him triumph.

Since 2011, the school has been holding a yearly “Paint the Courts Orange” charity event with a tennis match, silent auction, food and drinks, and orange t-shirt sales. The 2020 event was limited to t-shirt sales due to the coronavirus pandemic but since the event began, the school has raised about $40,000 for kidney cancer research.

“It’s pretty big. On that particular date in March we have a dress down day and pretty much the entire Parish school systems wear orange shirts with blue jeans,” Sydney said.

“I’m very honored that the community would come together as a whole to recognize survivors and even people that passed away from kidney cancer. The goal is to bring recognition to the disease but for the Parish to come around and support me makes me very proud.”

Assumption Parish High School during the first “Paint the Courts Orange” event in 2011.
Students wore orange t-shirts to support kidney cancer research on behalf of Coach Acosta.

For Sydney’s kidney cancer, half of his right kidney was removed, and he had no other treatment. He was diagnosed with cancer again in 2017 – multiple myeloma – but is in remission and said he is feeling healthy. He is starting his 34th year in Assumption Schools athletics.

“Family, friends, and community all play a big part in your recovery,” Sydney said. “Staying positive and having faith is the biggest thing.”

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