I have watched a lot of Cougar football in my life. I have seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect going into the 2018 College Football season. To put it simply, the Cougs have far exceeded my expectations. I could’ve never imagined that the Cougs would be 8-1 with three weeks left in the regular season.

Much of their success is because of their quarterback Gardner Minshew II, a graduate transfer who decided to go to Washington State instead of sitting on the bench at Alabama. At the beginning of the season, he was unknown. However, his mustache and performance on the gridiron were quickly noticed by Coug fans and the media.

What originally started out as a silly idea to take a bunch of photos of Coug fans before the Cal vs. WSU game grew into something much larger. Ultimately, I saw it as an opportunity to raise money for Hilinski’s Hope and help end the stigma around mental health. According to the CDC, suicide has gone up by more than 30 percent in about half of the States. It is also the second highest leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15-34 and the fourth highest leading cause of death in people between the ages of 45-64.

We need to change the stigma related to mental health in this country. I encourage you to have the tough conversations with your friends and family about this issue. This is the only way we will end the stigma towards mental health.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to friends and family about how you are feeling. You can also call the National Suicide Hotline by calling 1-800-273-TALK.

Thank you to everyone who got involved in this project and for your donations. I couldn’t do this without you.