For Morehead State football's Kyle Goss, winning games this fall is especially important. But it's not quite as crucial as the win he earned this past offseason.
The Eagles' redshirt junior long snapper's scoreboard reads like this: Kyle Goss 1, Cancer 0!
Goss, a native of Shelbyville, Ky., who transferred from Louisville, learned this past summer he had developed sarcoma - a rare connective tissue cancer that is only curable by surgery 20 percent of the time. More than 6,000 people never recover and die from sarcoma. Because connective tissue is found just about everywhere in the body, sarcomas can arise anywhere too but are most common in the limbs.
"I have been really lucky because not everyone is," he said. "On June 25 I was diagnosed with sarcoma, but I had a great team of doctors who performed a surgery and was able to cure it for now."
Goss noticed some changes as early as spring practice in 2019.
"I noticed a few bumps on my side and my shoulder pads started to not fit as well," he said. "In May the bumps had grown, and I had been sick for a few months. I never connected the dots. I honestly didn't have time to think about it."
Goss never questioned why it happened to him, he was just focused on getting through it.
"It's something I couldn't dwell on. I just had to go for it."
He admits he was very concerned about his athletic future.
"Where the tumor was taken out of me, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to be able to move my left arm again," he remembered. "After the surgery, it was all about the team and getting back out on the field. Even if it was just for one more snap, it meant the world to me. My family, my team, my girlfriend and my friends - they got me through this."
Goss also knows that just like his surgeons, his role on the field is about perfection.
"You have to be perfect. You don't want anyone really to know your name because if they do, everyone knows you messed up. I love my job, I love what I do, and I am lucky to do it."
One thing that has pushed Goss through this ordeal has been his motto - Not Today.
"Whatever surgery I was having or treatment or whatever it was, it wasn't going to be today. I wasn't going to give up today. I didn't know what tomorrow held but I was going to get through today."
Goss has been the Eagles' snapper on every punt and point-after-touchdown attempt for three years, and he plans on finishing out his final year strong. He hopes those also affected by sarcoma will fight just as hard as he has and that they too can find strength and push through.