The Wagoner community backs their Bulldogs at W.L. Odom Field, and they've also been backing their head coach Dale Condict and his family throughout the year. "There's not even a close second to this being the most challenging thing I've been through in my life," said Condict.
His year has been affected by cancer. His father passed away after a long battle with colon cancer in August. Bulldog player Marshall McKinney was also diagnosed with cancer, and there was another Condict going through a similar battle, his son Austin. “I knew something was wrong; [I] told my mom about it [and she] sent me to the doctor. The oncologist told me it was a tumor which meant it was cancer," explained Austin.
In February, the Bulldog Sophomore had surgery, but it did not remove the cancer and went through four cycles of chemo. "In the middle of chemo, that's when the drugs are starting to affect your body and you're only halfway. At that point, I wouldn't say I didn't felt like I was living, but I was constantly waiting for it to be over," Austin added.
During his battle with cancer, not only were his parent's supporting him, but the entire community of Wagoner was supporting him.
They started a Facebook page called Team Austin. The student body also started a movement called “We Got This.” In fact, they spelled out, “We Got This” across the Wagoner field and Austin says that was motivation to carry him on. “Having a community post things on Facebook and making shirts and constantly giving you support, it helped a lot," he said. "When given something like this, something that's very difficult to overcome, you can overcome it; everybody can overcome this hard obstacle in life. It means we are all going to do this."
Austin didn't give up. In late July, he got to ring the bell three times. With his grandfather watching, chemo was over. “It showed him that it can be beat and I beat it."
Austin wasn't done. He had to go to Indianapolis to have surgery to deal with a lymph node in his abdominal area. Surgery was successful. Finally, last week, after a CAT scan and pathology test, Austin was given the all clear. "God has a plan through all of this and I feel like Austin is going to be used to do great things someday and this will be a big part of his story," said Dale.
Austin says it was the greatest moment of his life. "I don't know how to describe it, really, it was probably the greatest moment of my life… I want to give people hope. It's hard now, but you will soon beat it."
Austin now plans to return to football and the community plans to always have his back.