Hawley Coach Battles Cancer

Hawley Coach Battles Cancer

<P>About the time two-a-days started, an audible was called on&nbsp;Hawley head coach, Brad Schoonmaker,&nbsp;when he was told he had cancer.</P>

Life on the field for the Hawley Bearcats has been tough this season, going 2-8, but it's been a totally different challenge for Head Coach Brad Schoonmaker off the field.

"Some of the symptoms and side effects get a bit worse each time, but I'm able to deal with it," said Schoonmaker.

Coach Schoonmaker learned he had cancer, even more, he was given the same diagnosis that his sister-in-law had. She passed away after four months of fighting.

"It really hit home, because we knew what some of the symptoms and what was going to happen."

Now at the four month mark, Coach Schoonmaker say he's finding strength in what's around him.

"You have two choices: let it eat you up or you can fight and live and enjoy the life that you get. That's the part God gives you and that's what I'll take advantage of," he said keeping things in perspective.

Adding that the fight has been easier with a support group, which you can find wearing "Team Schoon" t-shirts, something that started with his family and quickly spread to his school family.

"This is 'Team Schoon' in there, they back me up."

"Just watching him fight has been the biggest experience, to me," said Junior Caleb Beasley. "He's the most powerful man I know."

However, the real lesson the coach hopes his team takes away, goes beyond the "x's and o's."

"I know that the kids learned lessons far beyond the football field, and that's the biggest thing for me this season," explained Coach Schoonmaker.

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