Odessa High School coach battles cancer, returns to State B tournament in remission

In 2017, just before the State ‘B’ Basketball Tournament, Odessa High School basketball coach Larry Weber was diagnosed with cancer. Just a few hours after his first round of chemo-therapy, he was on the court pushing his team towards a win.

The coach of 28-years wasn’t going to allow cancer to get in the way of doing what he loved during such an important time for his team.

His health quickly declined though and he was forced to take time off.

“Towards the end it got pretty rough,” said Weber, “I lost about 50 pounds.”

In a small school like Odessa, a school with only 60 or so students, his presence was missed.

“It was hard seeing him struggle last year,” said Maddie Wagner, a student. “It was hard not seeing him there for awhile so its really awesome to see him back coaching our boys.”

“We missed him so much last year,” said the school’s principal, Jamie Nelson. “There was just a hole without him.”

After months of battling cancer, he was able to make a recovery.

“It wasn’t an option of whether I’d get back, it was just a matter of how long it took,” he said.

Now at the 2018 tournament, he’s back as head coach, supporting his team, his cancer in remission.

“You have to have faith, that took me through this whole process,” said Weber. “You have to have hope for the future and you have to have balance.”

“We have to win one more game for him,” said senior Colton Hunt. “We need to win a trophy for him.”

Thursday night’s game wasn’t to be, the team will play Friday morning at 10:30. Winner moves on, loser goes home.