“We talk about respect everybody but fear nobody and that’s sincere.”

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Coldwater’s John Reed ends his career with 283 career wins and nine MAC titles. (Photo by Nick Falzerano/miamivalleysports.com)

Over the past decade, no high school football coach in Ohio racked
up more wins than Coldwater High School’s John Reed
. Reed led the
Cavaliers to a state-best 123 victories and two state titles from
2000-2009. But now Reed faces an opponent that there isn’t a game plan to beat.


reedmvp

Over the past decade, no high school football coach in Ohio racked
up more wins than Coldwater High School’s John Reed. Reed led the
Cavaliers to a state-best 123 victories and two state titles from
2000-2009. Coldwater also played in two other title games, made the
playoffs all 10 years and lost just 15 games total. Yep, the Cavs were
123-15. Mind-boggling.

But now Reed faces an opponent that there isn’t a game plan to beat.

Diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November, Reed put off receiving
chemotherapy treatments until the Cavs postseason run was over.
Coldwater lost 55-25 in the Division V state final on Dec. 4. That was
a Friday. Reed started chemo the ensuing Monday.

Now at home after receiving the first dose, Reed is relaxing and recouping.

The harsh reality though is that one of Ohio’s best coaches ever – and he is – may have coached his last game.

Cancer isn’t something to scoff at. Neither is chemo. They are formidable.

And so is Reed’s resume.

An Upper Sandusky native, Reed’s career has included stays at
Parkway, Upper Sandusky, Marion Harding, Lebanon and of course –
Coldwater. One of the state’s winningest coaches all-time (283-126-1),
the majority of Reed’s wins (168) have come with the Cavs. Since he
started there in 1995, Coldwater has lost just 31 games. In the last 10
years, the Cavs have dropped just seven regular season games, five of
which were to eventual state champions.

Reed’s postseason record is 36-12. In 15 years, he’s led Coldwater
to 14 playoff berths, including 13 straight. Eight times the Cavs have
made the state semifinals. Five times they’ve played for the title.

Perhaps Reed’s most impressive achievement? No coach has won more
Midwest Athletic Conference titles, which are arguably harder than
state titles to get. Reed won three MAC championships while at Parkway
(1973-75) an then six at Coldwater (2001-02, 2004-06, 2008). Marion
Local’s Tim Goodwin and Delphos St, John’s Todd Schulte have won a
combined five MAC championships. That duo has seven state titles.

Tim Boeckman – Todd’s father – is second with seven MAC crowns.

Reed also has more confernece wins (197) than anyone. Goodwin is 86 behind. Schulte trails by 100.

Since 1995, Coldwater has finished either first or second in the MAC 14 times. Once they were third.

Individually in the last decade the program has churned out players
such as Kevin Hoyng, Ross Homan, Adam Homan, Tony Harlamert, Corey
Klenke, Eric Lefeld and Keith Wenning.

In regards to his social skills, Reed has never been the enemy of
the media but he hasn’t been cozy either. Multiple times we’ve done
photo shoots in Coldwater and not once has he shown up. Maybe he
doesn’t like us, but I doubt that’s it. I think it’s because he doesn’t
want to detract from his players. He also doesn’t want the attention.

Reed is a religious and devout man who likes his privacy. He
probably doesn’t like that I’m writing this – and you’re reading it –
now.

But his story needs to be told.

The survival rates for esophageal cancer depend on when it was
caught, but one set of numbers on the Internet said that an estimated
14,250 people in the US are diagnosed with this type of cancer each
year and that approximately 14,000 die as a result of it. Reed’s
survival rate is 33-percent.

No matter how tall an order – this all of course adds up to a belief that Reed can climb this mountain.

He – and his Cavaliers – have overcome insurmountable odds before.

Remember the 2007 Division IV state championship?

Although they were 13-1, Coldwater entered that game with no chance
to win. None. The Cavaliers were playing Youngstown Cardinal Mooney,
which despite being D-IV, was undefeated and ranked No. 8 in the
country according to USA Today.

Trailing 21-7 in the fourth quarter, Coldwater scored 21 unanswered
points and blocked a game-tying PAT with seconds left to pull off the
improbable 28-27 upset.

Many consider it the biggest upset in state finals history.

A similar script will need to be authored here. But Reed’s proven he can do the unthinkable.

I remember at that 2007 press conference, Reed said something that I
think applies here.

In regards to Mooney he said Coldwater’s philosophy
was: “We respect everybody we play and we talk about that all the time. We talk about respect everybody but fear nobody and that’s sincere.”

Reed respects cancer, but he doesn’t fear it.

And that’s why he can beat it.

SUPPORT REED

A caringbridge.org website has been set up to inform friends about
Coach Reed’s progress. Among those that have already signed his
guestbook are Vic Whiting, Dan Reardon and Marc Gibson.

Click Here To Visit John Reed’s Caringbridge Page

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