Hawley's Head Football Coach Brad Schoonmaker is an inspirational figure around the Big Country, but his journey hasn't been an easy one.
The first time he was diagnosed with cancer was three years ago, when he found out he had melanoma of the scalp. Soon after he had it surgically removed.
Schoonmaker made it a year and a half without any problems, until he went for a check up in Houston. Only it turned out not to be routine, doctors found a spot in his lung, changing everything. He only had a four percent chance to live.
Schoonmaker knew the diagnosis would not only effect his family but his team as well. He told the team they would get through it.
It hit the team hard, but the Bearcats managed to get through the season, finishing with a 2-8 record.
Coach Schoonmaker's oldest son was also hit hard with his own health battle. Houston was diagnosed with an anurismal bone cyst and a fractured fibula in his right leg.
Houston's surgery was in Dallas, when his father was receiving treatment in Houston. Despite the distance between the father and son, they had each other's back. Saying no matter the outcome they were there for each other.
The team took the Schoonmaker's experience to heart, and learned to be there for each other on the field. The year was one for change, after seeing what their coach went through the team was motivated for the 2011 season.
Coach Schoonmaker's drive to beat the cancer, the Bearcats were determined to have a better season. Over the past year the Bearcats have proven themselves to be exactly what the sign hanging above their bleachers says they are "The Champions."