CHANDLER — Eighteen months ago, with cancer trying to eat away at his body, Scott Myers didn't know how much life he had left.
He hoped years, yet knew it might be only months.
But he knew what he wanted to do.
“He just wanted to coach football,” said Shelley Myers, Scott's wife. “You know that Tim McGraw song about the guy who has cancer and wants to go skydiving and all those other things? Scott just wanted to coach football.”
In particular, Myers had two coaching dreams. He wanted to coach at his hometown school of Chandler, the team he quarterbacked to the 1984 state championship. And he wanted the chance to coach his only son, Mason.
Eighteen months ago, the opportunity to achieve both goals — at the same place and the same time — presented itself when he was offered the job to be Chandler's head coach.
Through the summer and fall of 2012, Myers was living his bucket list every day of his life.
Though he died last November, his legacy lives on in Chandler. It lives through the legend of the hometown hero who came back to coach his old team 28 years later. And it lives through his son, who now holds the same position his father once did as the Lions' starting quarterback.
Win-Win Week kicked off across the state on Monday, and will continue through October at many schools. The event is geared to raise money for the fight against cancer, while bringing awareness to the disease and what young people can do to prevent it.
It's an effort close to the hearts of the Myers family after watching Scott struggle with the disease for over three years.
But he didn't often let the struggle show.
“He was the toughest guy I've ever known,” said Jason Paul, Myers' longtime friend who spent 11 years with him on coaching staffs.
The same words have been spoken by just about anyone who knew Myers, particularly during his cancer fight. His wife said them. His son said them. Don Gray, the Chandler quarterbacks coach in 1984 and the school's superintendent who hired Myers last year, said them.
During a practice while Myers was still coaching at Moore in 2011, he got a little too close to a lineman drill. An intense competitor, Myers always needed to be close to the action.
As one lineman was blocking another, one of them tumbled to the ground and rolled hard into Myers' feet.
“His back was killing him by that point, because the cancer had spread from his kidneys,” Paul said. “But he jumped up as good as he could jump up, and said ‘Let's go.' He was more concerned about doing things right with the football team than how he was feeling.”
Mason Myers is Chandler's starting quarterback as a sophomore this season.
Just like his father was. And his grandfather. And his great-grandfather.
Being the fourth generation of Myers boys to start at quarterback for the Lions as a sophomore, Mason takes pride in being an extension of the family's legacy. But he's particularly proud to be following in his father's footsteps.
In his first start this season, Mason led the Lions to a 35-7 win over Stroud in a huge rivalry game.
“My dad never beat Stroud in three years. Even the year they won state,” Mason said. “Beating Stroud is a big deal here. My dad said that game was as big as the state championship to them. He always told me I would do it.”
The Stroud game was Mason's first since Scott's death. Mason wanted to win it for his dad. And for his coach.
In Mason's mind and in his heart, the roles of father and coach were the same.
Just beyond the east end zone of Chandler's football field, a red and blue sign hangs that says “P4C.” It was made a few years ago in Moore, when Myers was coaching there.
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