REPUBLIC, Mo. – The Republic community is rallying behind, Todd Smith, a long-time coach and teacher who’s facing a battle with stage four cancer.
Smith was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months ago, and his daughter Delaney says he has started treatments.
“It was really rough at first, you know, but we’ve gotten a lot of info on the treatments and everything,” said Smith. “And he’s been going for his for I think he had his fourth treatment on Wednesday. And it went pretty good.”
Smith and her friends participated in the 7-on-7 flag football tournament at Republic Middle School along with nine other adult teams and two youth teams, she says it’s great to see such large community support.
“It’s amazing, he’s an amazing guy,” said Smith. “He’s always been that person I looked up to, whenever I was growing up, he’s an awesome guy, he gets along with everybody really well, and everyone I meet just loves them. So it’s really easy whenever that happens.”
In addition to those 10 adult teams and 2 youth teams who all paid to enter the tournament, they’re also selling shirts that read “Tough for Todd.” for $25.
Mitch McHenry is a former player of Smith’s and current head coach of the boys basketball team in Kickapoo, he says Smith inspired his career path.
“I’ve chosen to be in this profession because of coaches, like Todd Smith,” said McHenry.
He added that when it comes to sports in southwest Missouri, it’s more than a team it’s a family.
“He’s impacted a lot of different athletes and families,” said McHenry. “And I think this just goes to show that it’s not just necessarily about, you know, the players that he interacted with, it’s about the community. And for us to have, you know, 10 plus teams out here, for us to have, you know, spectators and a group of people that are coming here to watch and support in spending a Sunday out here in the heat with no cloud cover, is really cool.”