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Louisa County's Journey to State Title Game Filled with Adversity on and off the Field

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Mark Fischer will coach his last football game this Saturday in the state championship Mark Fischer will coach his last football game this Saturday in the state championship
Louisa County celebrates after beating Lafayette in the state semifinals Louisa County celebrates after beating Lafayette in the state semifinals

Mark Fischer knew he would coach his last football game of his career this year.

But the 53-year old never could have imagined it would come in the state title game.

"Everybody goes into practice first day in August dreaming it, going to the state championship," says Fischer. "We all do."

"That's what our goal was for him all season, all postseason," says senior  defensive end Tony Thurston. "We always said we'd do it for him."

Louisa County is playing the state game for the first time since 2006 and has never won it.

The Lions may face their toughest challenge this season in two-time defending state champ Salem.

But this team has faced much more off the field.

Coach Fischer has cancer, multiple myeloma, and based on the early prognosis, a chance to coach in his fourth state championship game wasn’t even supposed to happen.

"Its real inspirational to know that he pushed it through for one more year for us to finish it off for our senior quarterback year," says Malik Bell.

"These boys have given me all my strength and energy for all the other stuff that I deal with."

While the Lions have zero losses on their record, there have been losses off the field that have served as inspiration.

Job Whalen, the school's all-time leading rusher, lost his mother to cancer last year

And Jaden Athey, who's been listed on Louisa's roster all year long, died in a car crash before this season.

"We have one big brotherhood on this team," says Bell. "We're just a huge family. We love each other on and off the field. The bond we share with each other is just unreal."

"This is our last everything together," says Whalen. "We're trying to make it as fun as possible and make memories as we go by and try to end this thing on top."

"Win or lose, I couldn't be more lucky or proud," says Fischer. "Regardless of what happens, it was just an awesome time."

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