Loggers struggle as they play to honor ailing teammate

The East Linn Loggers’ entire league is dedicating this year to nine-man football player and Logger Justin Terherst, number 72.

Terherst was diagnosed Jan 22 with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, one of the most aggressive kinds of cancer there is, but also treatable, Loggers Coach Jesse Garcia said. “He has been going through a lot in a short time, but his will and determination remain undaunted.”

“We are all behind you 100 percent and will play and work for you all year,” Loggers Coach Jesse Garcia pledged to Terherst in a written statement he has posted on the Web. “The entire league will be wearing number 72 on their helmets to show solidarity and support in this challenge.

“Justin and I want to thank each and every coach, player and fan for the well wishes and support you have all expressed. It means a great deal to all who are involved.

“All of you are awesome individuals, and I am honored to be in the same league with you. Everyone is quick to help in times of trouble. We aren’t just about football.”

Garcia wanted to recognize family, friends and coworkers for helping Terherst when he needs it the most, he said. “You all have a special place in our hearts and your compassion and generosity will never be forgotten.”

The Loggers are selling wristbands to help Terherst and his family with mounting medical costs. Suggested donations are $5 per band.

The league is planning 50-50 raffles during the season to help out as well.

For information or to help, contact Jesse Garcia at 401-3641 or 367-6819.

Terherst’s wife, Stephany, will walk in his honor in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at the Lebanon High School track May 18-19. She is seeking sponsors and may be reached at (541)905-7314 or at [email protected]. Checks may be made out to the American Cancer Society.

On the field, the Loggers were defeated by the South Valley Vandals 32-0 on Saturday at home.

The Vandals scored all but six points in the first half, Garcia said. “They didn’t do anything in the second half.”

The Loggers lost quarterback Riley Fugit on a late hit during the game, and Garcia does not think he will be ready to play Saturday. The team also has four players in questionable condition right now, and he doesn’t know if they will be able to play either this week. They include Jesse Garcia Jr., Ronnie Garcia, Vic Clodfelter and Phil DeLong.

Garcia is mostly satisfied with team defense, he said. “We had four sacks in that game, but we’re still getting beat on the corners (with inexperienced players).”

Next game is at 1 p.m. at Seven Oaks Middle School in Lebanon against the Mid-Valley Sharks.