Blacksburg High’s football coach steps down to battle illness
Coach ‘Jet’ Turner seeks treatment for stage 4 colon cancer
BLACKSBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - When the Blacksburg High Wildcats started the season, they did not know their leader would be leaving them early. Last Wednesday, Coach John “Jet” Turner announced he was stepping down to fight stage 4 colon cancer.
“It was all kind of a shock. We brought the boys together and explained it to them the best we could,” Ken Dockal, the team’s offensive coordinator, told Fox Carolina. “To the kids’ credit, they never faltered and they took it in stride. They kept grinding and working.”
Team members said that’s the least they could do for a coach who has quietly guided them on and off the field.
“He uplifts me and keeps me going,” said Kanye Tate, a senior running back. “He’s taught me to keep running hard. Even though I’m little, nothing is bigger than the heart, so I use my heart to my advantage.”
Joey Hawkins, the team’s head strength coach, said Turner’s lessons are aimed at helping the players for the rest of their lives.
“The tough things we do on the field...will bleed over into what you’re going to do (after football),” Hawkins said. “Football will be around, but a lot of us will have to leave and walk away from the game.”
Dockal started a GoFundMe account to benefit Turner and his family. Turner coached Dockal when he was a student at Clover High School.
“He had so many great qualities that I just admire,” Dockal said. “That’s why I got into coaching and teaching. He’s (made) a big impact on my life.”
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