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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lee: Amos draws strength from family

If life were a football game, you’d want to throw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Consider what the Amos family of Coeur d’Alene is enduring. It’s akin to piling on. Last month, Coeur d’Alene head football coach Shawn Amos was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The good news is he’s got the most treatable type of cancer.

Then in the crosstown showdown with Lake City, his son, senior quarterback Gunnar Amos, was knocked silly, suffering a concussion.

He returned for the State 5A playoff opener where he suffered a broken ankle late in the first half and will miss the rest of the season.

After the game, Shawn Amos’ first words to a pair of sportswriters were both revealing, chilling and gut-wrenching.

“Thrilled and heartbroken,” said Amos when asked to describe the win that advances CdA to a home semifinal game Friday and a win from a fourth straight trip to the state final.

And as ticked off as Amos could be about the lot his family has been given in the last month, he has kept a stiff upper lip – although he had to choke back tears and his lips were quivering last Friday.

“Sometimes life doesn’t go your way,” Amos went on to say, “and these guys played the way Gunnar would want them to play. In the second half they came out and left no doubt.”

True. CdA handled Timberline 52-9 and Gunnar’s reliever, sophomore Austin Lee, threw four touchdowns.

The challenge becomes much more difficult Friday. But something tells me the Viks and Shawn Amos will draw all the strength they can from everything they’re going through.

It’s all about family at CdA.

I caught up with Shawn Amos on Monday, a day before Gunnar was to have surgery.

“You don’t know the plan but our job is to keep the faith,” he said. “We don’t have answers to the questions. We don’t understand this, but it’s not our position to figure it out. When your own kid gets hurt, your own issues go away.”

Powerful stuff to say the least. Here’s hoping for rapid healing on all fronts for the Amos family.

Could there be nine?

One of the questions North Central boys cross country coach Jon Knight was prepared to answer last Saturday after his team captured an eighth straight state championship was one inquiring about the possibility for a ninth.

He knows there’s something significant about nine consecutive state titles. A mentor of his, former Mead coach Pat Tyson, saw his Panthers win nine straight titles (1988-1996).

“I’ve known Pat since 1979,” Knight said. “If I could match Pat’s record of nine I’d be very proud and he’d be the first one to send me a text to congratulate me.”

Knight can separate each of the eight titles.

“They’re all very special because each group is a different group,” Knight said. “They’ve created a different sense of team. This year’s team is radically different from last year’s group in terms of mood. They’re very, very close. It’s a brotherhood. They were toasting each other to go out and run for each other. Even the word love was coming up.”

Four of the Indians’ runners were first-time state winners.

Junior Tanner Anderson, who ran a brilliant and thrilling race to knock off defending champ Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep for the individual title, smiled when he thought about what could happen next year.

“We’re almost there,” Anderson said. “My class will be the one to tie it (Mead’s streak). We’ll have enough guys to do it. We have an amazing freshman class. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can pull off.”

Justin Janke, a sophomore, was one of the four first-time state champs. He finished 14th.

“It’s an honor and it’s a legacy,” Janke said.

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