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Lee: Coeur d’Alene football coach Shawn Amos reveals he’s battling cancer

Coeur d’Alene football coach Shawn Amos has faced several challenges in his life, especially in his coaching career.

His early years at CdA, for example, were not memorable. It took him some time to get the program headed down the path to where it captured back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011.

Now he faces the biggest challenge of his life. He learned early last week that he has a form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Amos will undergo a number of tests in the next few days to determine the stage and treatment.

He was getting ready for school two weeks ago today when he noticed a golf ball-sized lump near his left collar bone. He had his wife, Kelly, look at it and she told him to call his doctor immediately.

Four days later he visited with his primary physician who needed just to feel the lump and look under his armpits. He told Amos that the lump was “worrisome” and that he needed to pursue further evaluation.

Amos told the doctor he’d do that, but the doctor said it had to start immediately. He met with a specialist last Thursday and under went a bioposy.

That night he broke the news to his son, senior quarterback Gunnar Amos, and daughter, Miranda, a sophomore.

“It was tougher telling them than it was my coaches,” Amos said.

Amos, 46, will do whatever is recommended about attacking the cancer.

A Moscow High graduate, Amos started at running back in his prep days. He was successful because he played like he was angry, and it took more than one person to tackle him.

“I had to be that way because I was limited physically and had to make up for it some way,” Amos said, laughing.

He broke the news to his staff on Friday and followed up by telling his players. CdA had a bye last week.

“It’s an eye-opening experience,” Amos said. “It puts life in perspective.”

Amos is hopeful that the cancer was caught early.

“I had no symptoms,” Amos said. “We’re not going to mess around with it. I don’t know what the approach will be because we don’t know what it entails at this point. It’s a process but there’s a sense of urgency.”

Amos is optimistic.

“It’s just another life challenge,” he said. “The attitude on how you approach this affects your life. I’m thankful to have a large support group of family and friends. I feel blessed. You know there are a lot of people that go through things like this and they don’t have that support. It’s not just about me. There are a lot of people this affects.”

Youth awards

A high school version of the ESPYs is coming to Spokane.

The Spokane Sports Commission, which had a long tradition of honoring the region’s top high school athletes by hosting an event in partnership with the SWABs known as the Inland Northwest Sports Awards Luncheon, has decided to go a different route.

It’s in no way designed to eliminate the need for the youth awards.

According to a flyer that the Spokane Sports Commission put together, it is taking a fresh look at the awards program and making major changes – all with the idea to make the new awards event one of the most relevant and engaging award shows in the country.

The focus of the awards has been trimmed down to include just Spokane County youth.

Just the winners and their families will be invited to the event, which the commission hopes will land in the Fox Theater. SWX plans to broadcast the grammy-style event in June.

The awards categories are: top prep male and female teams; top non-high school male and female sports teams; top high school male and female athletes; top non-high school male and female athletes; top female coach; top male coach and a special category – an against-all-odds award.