Playing for more than wins: TJC head football coach Danny Palmer - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Playing for more than wins: TJC head football coach Danny Palmer prepares for a great season on the field, while battling cancer off the field

KLTV Staff KLTV Staff

Leading the offense is TCU transfer quarterback Brennen Wooten, along with Nicholas Gerber who is fresh off of setting the Texas high school single-season records for passing yards (5,617) and touchdowns (77).  There is no reason TJC shouldn't reach the end-zone. 

"Brennen Wooten came in here as a big leader, coaching everybody up. I feel like we have a good offensive unit," said Joseph Ward, Apache sophomore wide receiver. 

"Nick Gerber coming from Levelland, wow. What a great record and also a kid of great character. We are really proud of both those guys," said Danny Palmer, Apache Head Coach.  

On the defensive side this unit plans on capitalizing on their size and strength. 

"What really impressed me this year is that we all like to work hard. We all like to get out here and get better. Learn what Coach Rocco and the other coaches have for us," said Daquaylyn Thomas, Apache sophomore safety. 

With everything seemingly falling into place for the Apaches to have a great season, you'd never be able to tell that off the field Head Coach Danny Palmer has been battling through his own fight with cancer. 

"I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Which means you have Leukemia. You realize that your family, your wife, your children, and your grandchildren are the most important things in your life. And the way that you worship," said Coach Palmer. 

If you looked up "worship" in the dictionary it's defined as an extravagant respect, admiration for, devotion. By continuing to give Apache football his all despite his health, that's devotion. The way these kids and staff view their head coach can only be described as extravagant respect and admiration. 

"If you didn't know that he was sick, you wouldn't know. He's going to hold the kids accountable, the coaches accountable. In that regard nothing's changed," said Thomas Rocco, Apache's defensive coordinator. 

"Coach Palmer man, he's a great coach. Once I leave I won't forget about him. Every morning, every day he's the same person. Day in, day out. You just got to love being around him," said Thomas.  

"He comes out energetic as always, on everybody, making sure that everything is right on and off the field. He's a great guy and I wouldn't compare him to nobody. I wouldn't replace him for nobody," said Ward. 

This Saturday TJC will kick off its 2017 season against Kilgore, and Coach Palmer will be there - staying calm and beating cancer everyday. 

"They are going to have to carry me off the field. As long as I feel good I'm going to coach," said Coach Palmer. 

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