APPOMATTOX, Va. (WFXR) — “It’s an incredible feeling to be back. I know it’s been a really strange year for everybody. So, I’m pretty sure everybody is ready to get back to normality. But for me, it’s also just being back on the field feeling good and healthy is extremely exciting,” said Appomattox Head Coach Doug Smith.
Last year, Smith was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a form of cancer affecting the plasma cells. Now Smith is in recovery and isn’t taking any time away from his team and his community for granted.
“Just smelling the grass cut. Being able to walk on the field and being able to paint the lines was exciting to me stuff that you probably don’t think about. Being able to see the kids each day and holler and scream at them and motivate them and just watching these guys you know get after it,” said Smith.
One player who is excited for coach smith’s return to coaching is Raiders senior quarterback Tre Lawing.
“It’s like it gives us even more motivation just to have our coach back. It means so much to us that he’s back because honestly, we never knew if he was going to be able to come back and even coach again. So, it’s honestly just a blessing,” said Lawing.
As Coach Smith takes to the field this season – the community that coined the term smith strong continues to stand behind him.
“This community is unbelievable and it’s hard again to put into words. They have surrounded me with love and prayers. They’ve helped my family. I will never be able to thank all these people enough and so all I can say is thank you and we love you and we’re going to be praying for you too,” said Smith.