After Thursday’s practice, Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops told media that the team will honor both linebacker Josh Paschal and offensive line coach John Schlarman throughout the season.
Paschal is a sophomore who played in all 13 games as a freshman. The team was hoping to exercise the young talent in a larger role this season before Stoops released the heartbreaking news earlier this month that Paschal had malignant melanoma.
Schlarman, a former UK offensive linemen, is also fighting his battle with an undisclosed form of cancer.
According to Jeff Drummond, the Cats will recognize both members of the team with decals on their helmet throughout the season.
Mark Stoops says Cats will recognize Josh Paschal and John Schlarman with decals on their helmets this year. Also have wristbands that say “Schlarman Strong” and “JPon3,” the latter is how the team breaks huddles.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) August 30, 2018
The team is also reportedly breaking their huddles with “J-P-on-3” and will wear wristbands, reading “Schlarman Strong.”
Drummond added that Stoops said there aren’t any captains yet but they will be decided by kickoff on Saturday with former captain and NFL Hall of Fame center Dermontti Dawson as the honorary captain.
No captains yet, Mark Stoops said. Team will vote on those soon leading up to the game. Former Cat, Pittsburgh @steelers center and NFL Hall of Famer Dermontti Dawson will be on hand as an honorary captain.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) August 30, 2018
Both Paschal and Schlarman are tough losses for the Cats, as their contributions to the teams are nearly unmatched. However, in Stoops’ presser on Monday, he said the team must come to together in their absence.
Stoops pointed to the emergence of Jamar “Boogie” Watson on the defensive line as well as offensive coordinator Eddie Gran’s contributions of working with the offensive line. The head coach added that no one on the team or staff works harder than John.
It looks like, along with the roles of certain coaches and players increasing, that the team is prepared for an emotional first game on Saturday against Central Michigan.