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The Unflinching Support Behind a Football Coach's Daily Fight

By Justin Walters
By jwalters@wbbjtv.com

DYER, Tenn. - There are two fights Gibson County's football program entered into the season trying to tackle.

Their 47-game losing streak dating back to October 10, 2008. That losing skid ended with a victory over Fulton County in September.

The second obstacle is coach Corry Essary's battle with leukemia.

"It's very humbling and life changing," Essary said.

The news was also shocking for colleagues and students to swallow.

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't pass by him [Essary] in the hall with a smile on his face," Gibson County High School teacher Sunni Cooksey said.

Since September, the school has devised a plan to honor their coach and friend. That led to Black Out Cancer Night this Friday, October 25. The Pioneers take on Greenfield that evening, Essary's alma mater.

"He's been a ray of hope and a ray of sunshine. On our days when we are struggling to accept it, he's the one that has encouraged us," explained Cooksey.

In preparations for the event, more than 400 tee-shirts and wrist bands have been sold with all profits going in Coach Essary's honor to the GCHS Relay for Life Team.

The Pioneers game against Greenfield will also be Senior Night.
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