The night of October 13, 2017 was an important milestone in one of the, if not the most, emotional high school football season in Richmond-area history.
When a head coach, who has defeated cancer, only to find himself fighting the battle again, announces to his team that the season about to begin would be his final on the sidelines, it is a monumental task for teenagers to process the stark reality of what he is facing, then find a way to emotionally funnel their support, their anger, and their love, into an historic season.
But the Louisa Lions not only poured their heart and soul into their 2017 campaign, by October 13 they were running opponents off the field. Coming off a 40-13 win over Powhatan, the Lions entered Homecoming against another undefeated team, Monticello. Before the game, the county renamed the home of the Lions as Mark L. Fischer Field.
Later, the Lions ran wild, posting a 62-21 victory that only added fuel to a championship desire fire. Louisa finished 10-0 in the regular season, but so did three other teams in their own region. They defeated two of them en route to the Class 4 State Championship Game on December 10th. Only then did the Lions find an opponent they could not conquer.
The ability of the Lions to channel all of the conflicting emotions they faced to take Fischer to the brink of a state title, all the while worried about their head coach, was nothing short of phenomenal. And among all the highs of their 14-1 season, perhaps, at least in the minds of some, the one that will be remembered longest is the one that produced a new sign that future Lions will see every time they practice, and every time they take the field for Friday Night Lights.
Mark Fischer changed Louisa County football, and, through a physical battle now six years long, one he certainly did not ask for, his resolve, positive personality, and unique ability to deflect attention from him to his players, no matter the circumstance, Mark Fischer has changed Louisa County. For the better. Period.
RVA Sports Network salutes Coach Fischer and the 2017 Louisa Lions for a season to remember, and our #2 Moment of 2017-18. The field at Louisa County High School will always be a reminder of how one should live life during great uncertainty; with incredible grace.
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