Students shave heads in solidarity with Riley Holstine.

Students shave heads in solidarity with Riley Holstine.

September 6, 2019
Contact: Jason Hogue, Director of Marketing and Communications, 402-872-2429

Peru, Nebraska – Peru State’s cheerleading team, football team and Kinesiology majors gathered in front of the Administration Building to shave heads. The head shaving was in honor of Riley Holstine (Mound City, Mo.).

Holstine is a junior majoring in Kinesiology and plays for the Bobcat football team. He was diagnosed with leukemia over the summer.

Steven Wilkie (Bellevue, Neb.), a fellow Kinesiology major, said, “I’m glad to [get my head shaved]. It’s bigger than all of us. It’s for a good cause.”

Bailey Johnson (Johnson, Neb.), co-captain of the Peru State cheerleading team, adds, “It was amazing that by this small act we were able to give such big smiles to a man who always gives others big smiles.”

“It was also amazing that we had 34 volunteers shave their heads which, coincidentally, is his football jersey number!”

Photos of the head shaving including a group shot of all 34 shaved students, faculty and staff.

Facebook Post from Peru State Assistant Coach Justin Hoffman.

The Big Time Strength Podcast wrote in mid-August, “Riley Holstine, an aspiring strength coach, was diagnosed with leukemia in July. He has currently undergone two rounds of chemotherapy and is battling every day to CRUSH this terrible disease.”

The weekly podcast continues “If you would like to support Riley, visit and purchase a copy of ‘Crush Cancer!’ 100% of proceeds are donated to Riley and the Sean D. Biggs Memorial Foundation, who supports those affected by cancer and funds cancer research.”

Gage Rosier is the author of Crush Cancer. He is also Holstine’s cousin and the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at William Jewell College. 

Rosier writes on, “In ‘Crush Cancer’ you will find a compilation of workouts, submitted from the top strength and conditioning professionals in the country. Each coach has dedicated his/her workout to someone they know who has battled cancer.”

“These workouts are tough but pale in comparison to the battle Riley and so many others face. Be grateful for the opportunity to train and keep fighting. If there are any words of inspiration I can give to those fighting cancer, it’s this – keep fighting!”

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