HS Football: I’m a proud fan of Scott Myers
Sometimes in this profession, you meet people who are interviewed, written about and soon forgotten.
But sometimes, you meet those special individuals who stick with you for years, who you follow, who you cheer, who you feel honored to have met.
Sometimes, you meet a Scott Myers.
He is the football coach from Chandler High School who died early Wednesday morning after a two-year battle with cancer. I had the good fortune to meet him a little over two years ago when he was at Moore High School and I went out to write a story about his fight.
What I ended up doing instead was writing a story about one of the best men I’ve ever met.
Our high school sports editor Darla Smith learned that Scott had cancer in the spring of 2010, and when he came to our preseason photo day that fall, the toll was obvious. He was thin and gaunt and looked like he was in his 60s instead of his 40s. His treatments had zapped the color from his hair, his eyebrows and even his eyelashes. They weren’t gray. They were white.
We decided to reach out to Scott to see if he’d be willing to let us tell his story. I wouldn’t have blamed him had he said no. Instead, he agreed.
Not long after, photographer/videographer John Clanton and I were sitting in the weight room at Moore as Scott told us his story. How the renal kidney cancer had spread all over his body by the time the doctors found it. How it was in his spine, his hips, his shoulders. How he’d already undergone some of the most intense treatment possible but how he was still taking meds and pain pills just to make it through the day.
But he also told us how much football meant to him.
As I ended up writing, “There are only so many Friday nights. Scott Myers wants all of his.”
Scott laid bare his soul. He cried. He choked up. He didn’t hold anything back, though. He knew that this insidious disease would ultimately get him, but he also knew that he didn’t have to let it have an easy time of it.
So, he coached. And schemed. And practiced. He did it even though he was in more pain than he probably ever let on.
From then on, I was a Scott Myers fan.
I reacted with glee the next fall when Moore won its first game in almost three years. The school district had been through a school split, and Moore’s football program had taken a big hit because of it. But Scott and his assistants, a great group of men, had finally crossed a big hurdle.
Then this past spring, I smiled when I learned Scott had gotten the football job at Chandler. That’s his high school alma mater, and I’m fairly certain it was the only job for which he’d have left Moore.
I’m so glad he had the chance to coach there.
When I got an email early Wednesday morning from Eddie Paul, one of Scott’s mentors, saying that Scott had died, it was like a punch to the gut. I re-watched the video that John did from that interview with Scott back in 2010, and I cried almost the whole way through.
Something that Scott said then hit me once again.
“I want to make sure I spend quality time with my family,” he said as he choked back tears, “and find a way to win football games. And when I look back before this, that’s what I was doing anyway.”
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