CHASKA, Minn. — Over and over again, the game of football has been compared to a battlefield, but one Chaska Hawk won his biggest battle off the turf.
In January, Chaska High School senior Soren Howard was in unbearable pain during a team lift. After going to the doctor for tests, he received the devastating news: he had rare form of stage four cancer.
Doctors planned to remove the tumor, but the cancer had spread to his lungs and his lymph nodes.
"It was literally right before I went into surgery that we found out that I would need chemo," said Howard.
After four months of chemo therapy treatments, Howard got much better news — he was cancer free, but he had lost 30 pounds and 60% of his strength.
Eager to get back on the field, he found the Goliath Project.
"The Goliath Project helps student athletes recovering from cancer get back to their sport," said Howard.
He's back, and his fight has brought the team closer.
"He doesn't know this, but he's given us a lot more than we could give him in support," said Chaska head football coach Brian Dahl. "We're so proud of him and his attitude through all this."
Coincidentally, Friday is the Hawks' Minnesota Football Coaches Association Tackle Cancer game against rival Chanhassen.
"It's been a busy week, but it's been exciting. We couldn't be more excited to play on Friday, more excited for Soren," said Dahl.
Howard started on special teams and got some reps on defense during Week One against Jefferson. Coach Dahl says it'll be more of the same on Friday.
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