Webster Thomas football: Head coach Scott Deuschle inspires team through battle with cancer
WEBSTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Scott Deuschle has been the only coach in the history of Webster Thomas football. He has certain values that he instills for all of his teams.
“If you’re on time you’re late. That’s kind of the mentality that I remember as a player and now as a coach,” said defensive coordinator Jason Indovina.
For Webster Thomas football, that’s been the motto for 22 years.
“Tell the kids football mimics life and the challenges they’re gonna have. Hopefully this prepares them for bigger challenges in life and how to manage the ups and downs and the craziness that gets thrown to you,” said Deuschle.
Unfortunately, Deuschle’s motto became all too real. In June of 2022, he got a phone call.
“He (the doctor) said it’s cancer. That changes your life in an instant,” said Deuschle.
It required surgery for the head-and-neck cancer and weeks of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Deuschle could’ve taken a step back. But instead, he never took a step off the sidelines.
“I can’t recall many practices that coach Deuschle was not there last year. Every game he was still there. It was tough. You could tell it was very difficult for him. But at the same time, he showed his character,” said Indovina.
“We owe it to him. You gotta be here every day. That doesn’t mean just be here physically. It means be here mentally. Every day 100%,” said senior Dominic Blekot.
The team literally practiced what he preached, about never giving up. And Deuschle, followed through. He got to ring the bell and although he’s not technically in remission, he tells me everything is trending in a positive direction.
“With what he was going through and how he was able to respond to that and still be here for the kids at the same time, our kids got to see that, like okay, we don’t give up. And I think that was the biggest message that he sent,” said Indovina.
“I’ve had a few family members struggle with cancer. It’s like another one of my family members, coach Deuschle. I’ve been around him for a very long time. He means a lot to me. Just glad to have him back,” said Blekot.
But Deuschle says he didn’t do it to prove a point. The football field is his happy place. And the football family, got him through it. And he wants other people to learn from his story.
“For those people that are going through this, just fight like hell. It’s daunting and the people in your family that help you – it’s harder on them I think. I think it is,” said Deuschle.
When you’ve got a family like Webster Thomas football, everyone’s in it together, anyways.