Stillman Valley football plays in the second round of the IHSA playoffs on Saturday. What follows that game for assistant coach Scott Rempfer is much different than game-planning X’s and O’s.
Rempfer is a two-decade mainstay at Stillman Valley as a teacher and coach – he loves the game, and what it can provide.
“The relationships…sports in general are fun for a lot of reasons. It just becomes an incredible bond, that matters to me more than X’s and O’s,” Rempfer said in a one-on-one interview with 13 News.
He recently learned he has a new challenge to tackle, reflecting on a conversation he had with his medical team.
“It was probably a 5-10% chance you have cancer, don’t worry about it, go have a great weekend, come back and of course the story is, yes you do. The type of cancer I have is one out of 15 million chance.”
As he prepares for weeks of chemotherapy and radiation at U-W in Madison, Rempfer knows his signature trademark may not be with him when he returns home – his long, blonde hair.
“If they tell me it’s gonna go, then I’ll do the locks of love to help someone else out. Then I’ll just look like a totally different guy, it’s been part of my identity for 15 years at least.”
What’s also part of Scott’s identity – the relationships, at his current school and alma mater. The 1988 Genoa-Kingston graduate was reminded of that when the Cogs and Cardinals took the field together, and each presented donations to help pay for his medical expenses.
“You think you’re reaching people and you hope you do as a teacher and a coach. This has been urneal. I can’t believe the love and support.”
They show that love and support in three words – “Built for This.”
“I know I’m built for this because number one, I have a support system like no other.”
Those relationships, built over time, are not fleeting.
“Now I know for the first time in my life at almost 50 years old, I know what friendship is. Maybe that’s one of the blessings I get from going through this,” Rempfer said.
From one man’s gratitude comes a lesson for everyone.
“I’m not going through this alone, and so many people go through what I’m going through are way worse, with no support. My heart breaks for them. I think we need to be better to people in general.”
Because if we rally to others, we remind them that like Scott Rempfer, they’re built for anything.