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Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Sports

Former West Valley standout Jace Malek, 18, dies of cancer

Jace Malek, 18, celebrated after bagging a moose on Nov. 14, 2015, during a special hunt hunt organized by Youth Outdoors Unlimited. A special permit for the hunt was issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Malek died on Sunday. (COURTESY / Courtesy photo)
Jace Malek, 18, celebrated after bagging a moose on Nov. 14, 2015, during a special hunt hunt organized by Youth Outdoors Unlimited. A special permit for the hunt was issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Malek died on Sunday. (COURTESY / Courtesy photo)

Jace Malek found out last fall that it was just a matter of time.

That time came Sunday when the former West Valley standout football player and wrestler died after a year-long bout with cancer.

His death came almost a year to the day Malek, 18, learned he had osteosarcoma. At the time, he was going to sign a letter of intent to play football at the University of Idaho.

Idaho coach Paul Petrino not only honored the scholarship but brought Malek on staff as a student assistant coach. It was Malek’s dream to someday coach.

“I am thankful Jace Malek was part of our team,” Petrino said Sunday in a news release. “I know everyone feels the same. Jace made me a better father, better coach and a better person. I am grateful and honored that he was part of my life. We love him and will miss him.”

Malek attended Idaho last fall.

Last July, his right leg was amputated. He underwent several sessions of chemotherapy.

By the fall, though, his doctor told him that he would live only a few more months.

Malek wanted to check one more thing off his bucket list. He wanted to shoot a moose.

A special tag was obtained through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife through a program for terminally ill sportsmen.

A longtime sportsmen advocate volunteered his property near Mount Spokane. That’s where Malek bagged his moose in November.

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