Both Josh Paschal and John Schlarman were honored after Kentucky’s victory over the Florida Gators with game balls from head coach Mark Stoops. Paschal and Schlarman are both battling cancer.
About the best game-ball presentation you'll ever see: @UKCoachStoops to @CoachSchlarman. #SchlarmanStrong pic.twitter.com/w0kiLJVQd3— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 9, 2018
Schlarman, a former guard at the University of Kentucky, is now coaching in his sixth season at his alma mater as the offensive line coach. Back in early August it was reported that Schlarman was undergoing treatment for an undisclosed medical condition.
It was later revealed that Schlarman had an undisclosed form of cancer, and was receiving chemotherapy to treat his condition. The treatment has yet to interrupt Schlarman’s activities with the team, as he’s still on the sidelines coaching up his players.
Schlarman’s offensive lineman more than played up to their potential versus the Gators on Saturday night in The Swamp. UK ran all over Florida to the tune of 303 yards on the ground, including a 44-yard romp by Benny Snell and a 31-yard scamper by Terry Wilson.
The Cats averaged 7.4 yards a pop and scored one touchdown on the ground.
Ooh wee. Bunchy Stallings with the biggest pancake block in forever. pic.twitter.com/J9zsrLJewx— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 9, 2018
Paschal, who received a diagnosis of malignant melanoma back in early August as well, also received a game ball from Stoops. Paschal was expected to be a key part of the UK defensive front this season, but he’s currently undergoing treatment for his condition. There is still no timetable for Pashcal’s return, but he was present on the sideline in Week 1 along UK’s sideline wearing a walking boot.
Stoops talked about giving the game balls to both Schlarman and Paschal, who continue to give this team inspiration as they endure the fight of their lives.
“I’m going to award John Schlarman the game ball. That offensive line, those tight ends blocked. We rushed the ball for 300 yards at Florida. That’s a pretty good number. John is going through a lot, as we’ve talked about, but seeing him again, this past week go through six hours of chemo and pop up at practice like he didn’t miss a beat. He’s a strong man. He’s going through a lot. I was grateful to be able to get him a win and of course, we got one for Josh Paschal. Great team victory.”
Stoops says on KSR postgame show that Schlarman is going through 6 hours of chemo a week & still doesn’t miss a practice.— Dan Rieffer (@drieffer) September 9, 2018
The Kentucky victory over the Gators meant a lot to the university, Big Blue Nation, and the state as a whole. But, Mark Stoops’ gesture to Paschal and Schlarman is bigger than any win the Cats will get all season.
Congratulations UK Football! So happy for team, staff, and fans. Especially moved by Game Ball for the great John Schlarman. John is one of the best players ever at UK, and one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. God bless Coach Schlarman and all who support him right now.— Bill Curry (@coachbillcurry) September 9, 2018
This is why we love sports.