Hosting Rockwall Heath for a District 11-6A match-up, tonight the John Tyler Lions would also be honoring cancer survivors through their annual 'Coaches vs. Cancer' event.
"Before I became a head coach, I had seen this all across the country with college coaches doing it. I knew once I became the head coach here at John Tyler High School, I wanted to make it one of our main events," said Cedeno Clark, Lions head basketball coach.
"Coaches vs. Cancer game is help raise awareness, and help raise money for the cancer cause," said Gerald Berry, senior Lion.
Each year the Lions basketball program has tried to raise more and more money to help erase the existence of cancer. But with the recent passing of former football and track coach Michael Johnson, this year there was more motivation than ever.
"Since we lost Coach J, earlier in the week, this game means a lot to me. I really want to win this game for the city and for the people and I just want to help raise as much money as possible." said Berry.
"I think it's a good way to remember him. He has two sons that were part of the program and they come back and help us and mentor us like big brothers. We are all a big family really and losing him is heartbreaking really, and it means a lot to the team to go out win and compete," said Mashaud Moore, senior Lion.
Giving Coach J the best seat in the house this team came out firing on all cylinders, bringing home the win in memory of their fellow Lion.
"Coach Johnson is an outstanding individual and you know he has a legacy here at John Tyler High School. This situation and the cause is for him at this time," said Coach Clark.
"Coach J was John Tyler. But to know someone that has been walking through this hallway, that's patted you on the helmet, that has been through drills with you, that's done been on the bus with you. It puts a heavy value to it because now you understand what cancer really does," said Ricklan Holmes, Lions head football coach.
Many will catch themselves saying Coach Johnson lost his fight with cancer, it's actually the complete opposite. In the words of the late Stuart Scott, "You beat cancer be the way you live." Coach J is still living through the Lions that are playing for him.
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