When Hurricane football coach Chris Homer thinks of former Tiger Brian Scott, it's impossible not to call to mind images of a burly, vivacious teenager.
At Hurricane, he was the 225-pound fullback, The Tribune's MVP, who paved the way for the Tigers' first-ever 11-man football state championship. As a wrestler, he dominated the 3A bracket for three state titles.
That's why it's so hard for Homer, as well as everyone else who knows Scott, to handle the news that one of the best athletes in school history has leukemia and now is in a fight for his life.
"It's like Superman getting cancer for us, frankly," Homer said. "Physically he's such an amazing person, it's hard to imagine. He's one of the biggest, strongest kids in the state."
Scott has gotten some positive news after his devastating diagnosis: There's no cancer in his spinal fluid, which is encouraging. He's already begun chemotherapy at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, a feat challenging even to an athlete.
A number of plans Scott had have been cast aside. He recently had an LDS Church mission call that will be suspended as he undergoes treatment. Scott signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Southern Utah University last winter.
Still, support already has been overwhelming, Homer said. Coaches from every Region 9 team have called to check in on Scott's health. The Dixie volleyball team has donated funds to Scott that were raised at a recent game for cancer research.
Anyone who wishes can donate to a fund set up in Scott's name at Zion's Bank. Homer said the family was appreciative of whatever support they get financial or otherwise.
"His family is great, and I know they'll be there for him," Homer said. "I think we all think the same thing: If anyone can get through this, it's Brian."
Scott is not the only high-profile high school athlete fighting leukemia. Former Alta soccer star Lexe Selman recently finished her fourth round of chemotherapy and is recovering at home, according to her father, Mark Selman. The family is hopeful that she soon will be able to return to her plans to attend the University of Arizona and play soccer there.
Well-wishers and others who want to follow Selman's recovery can check out her family's blog, Lexe Kicks Leukemia, which has regular updates on her health.