It’s been a turbulent year for the Abilene High football program — even by 2020 standards.
Joining all Class 5A and 6A programs in having spring football wiped out and their season threatened and then delayed a month by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eagles got an extra gut punch when it was announced in August that second-year head coach Mike Fullen had been diagnosed with colon cancer and would be taking a leave of absence to seek treatment.
That left co-offensive coordinator Jeff Rhoads in a unique position as the Eagles’ interim head coach and the AHS players in a unique mental state as they tried to balance their excitement for an upcoming season with concern for their beloved coach.
Following a successful surgery and a positive response to chemotherapy, Fullen is convinced he’ll be back on the sideline in weeks, not months. But regardless of when he returns, both Rhoads and the Eagles players are determined to do their part to ensure that he finds the program in the same state he left it, if not better.