This football team worked hard to bring their beloved coach a season he will never forget.
After more than 40 years of coaching Oak Grove High School’s football team, George Pirch had to step off the field when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer recently, according to Fox4 Kansas City. But the committed Missouri coach didn’t have to walk away from his dream of watching the Panthers make history.
Doctors cleared Pirch to attend the state championship game on Friday, which Oak Grove won for the first time ever.
“I was just elated when they won. If I could’ve done a cartwheel I would’ve! Or maybe two of them!” Pirch told Fox4.
Oak Grove defeated John Burroughs School 49-27 to take home the title, according to the Kansas City Star.
The players said the win was as much for them as it was for Pirch.
“We wanted to do something for him,” Aaron Graham, an Oak Grove senior, told Fox4. “Being seniors, we always want to do something big for Coach Pirch because he’s been with us and we had to go out with a bang.”
But even before this team won the title, current players and alumni agreed that the legendary coach had made an incredible impact on the community.
“He means a lot to me,” Dakota Fish, a former Panthers player, told KMBC in September. “He’s been an inspiration to everybody in this town. He’s changed people’s lives in this town.”