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Eddie Courtney of Farragut has prostate cancer

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On Tuesday afternoon, Eddie Courtney gathered the Farragut football team and informed his players about something he’s known for the last five weeks: He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday morning and would miss Friday’s game against Morristown West. 

But, he told them he would try and be back as soon as possible.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I’m just anxious to get this over with. I’ll be stronger when it’s over,” Courtney said later Tuesday. “I trust God. I’ve battled cancer before.” 

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Courntey, 67, had his yearly physical in August and a blood test was performed. The blood test results came back elevated, Courtney said. 

“Coach visited a specialist who requested further testing and a biopsy,” according to Farragut’s football team website. “The result of the biopsy was a cancerous tumor contained to the prostate.” 

After finding out his diagnosis, Courtney wanted to wait until after the season to have surgery, he said. But after consulting with his doctors, it was decided that it would be best to have surgery to remove the tumor during the season. The cancer has not spread to any other organ, Courtney said. 

“We caught it at an early stage,” said Courtney, who is in his 25th season as Farragut’s coach. 

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Courtney had Hodgkin’s disease, which is a form of cancer, in 2005. He coached that season, leading Farragut to the state quarterfinals, while also going to chemotherapy appointments and radiation treatments. He didn’t miss a game. 

“We talk about these things all the time,” Courtney said when asked what he told his team. “I try to be a living example of what I tell them. I attack life like you play football. They understand that message.” 

Country said his son — offensive coordinator Geoff Courtney — will be the team’s interim coach. Farragut is 2-1 this season. Courtney still doesn’t know when he will be back to coaching on the sidelines. He’ll know more after surgery. 

“It makes you appreciate life,” Courtney said regarding battling cancer for the second time. “It makes you appreciate your family and friends more.”

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/sports/high-school/2020/09/15/high-school-football-farragut-eddie-courtney-tennessee-knoxville-tssaa-2020/5810954002/

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