FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – When the 2016 football season gets underway with practice on August 1 one of the best sights to see will be Bishop Dwenger head coach Chris Svarczkopf back on the field.
Svarczkopf was diagnosed with lymphoma last summer and had 12 inches removed from his colon and small intestine. Two more surgeries and six chemo treatments later, his body is clear of cancer.
Svarczkopf’s battle with the disease meant he had to sit out the entire 2015 football season, handing the program over to interim head coach Ernie Bojrab. Inspired by their head coach’s battle, the Saints marched all the way to Lucas Oil Stadium and won the 4A state title.
Afterwards at a school pep rally the team dedicated its season to coach Svarczkopf and coach Fred Tone. Tone – a coaching legend at Dwenger – was also battling cancer and ended up succumbing to lung cancer in December.
Svarczkopf says Tone was one of his mentors, and the coach hopes to honor his friend’s memory in the way he leads the Dwenger program.
The Saints open the season at Zollner Stadium on August 19 against the Wayne Generals.