Conestoga Valley's Justin LeFevre never let his
battle with cancer alter his commitment to football
A fighting spirit is what I will
remember most about Justin LeFevre.
No, I wasn't around him very much. But
in the few times that I talked to him and in hearing from his
friends and coach, it's something I know.
Justin, 17, lost his battle with cancer
Tuesday, but boy, did he give it a fight. The Conestoga Valley
junior linebacker knocked it for a loop last spring and summer after
multiple rounds of chemo treatments. By summer's end, he was back on
the field, practicing for the fall season.
But even when he accomplished his goal
of returning to football after fighting Ewing's Sarcoma, the cancer
was already returning. Like he had done before, he fought through
"I remember when Justin was a, freshman,
prior to anyone knowing he had cancer," said CV head football coach
Gerad Novak Wednesday afternoon. "We were at a 7‑on‑7 camp at East
Stroudsburg and Justin was hurting. I said, 'Justin, just take a
series or two off. But he said, 'No, coach, I need to practice.'
Novak also saw that attitude in a
scrimmage with Bishop McDevitt. Justin had come in a little late on
a play and the kid who got hit shoved Justin.
“Justin was ready to go at him, Novak
said. "We were thinking that this was just the kind of kid we
needed. He went 100 percent on every play. He had something
After doctors cleared him to return to
practice last summer, Justin experienced pain in his leg. Doctors
thought the pain was the result of too much running too soon after
coming back from the chemo treatments.
the pain turned out to be a return of cancer, this time in his knee.
"We thought he had it beaten," Novak
Justin just wanted to be like every
other kid at CV. He didn't want his illness to prevent him from
doing anything and he didn't want to be around anyone who wasn't
positive about him getting better.
"I was fortunate to coach him and be
around him," Novak said.
Novak is sure Justin's memory
live on in CV's football players. Maybe
it will inspire them in the weight room or on the field. If it's
determination they seek, Justin's memory will certainly provide
Then there is Ryan Thompson, a CV
student who didn't play football this past fall. He is coming out
for the team next fall. And he wants to wear Justin's number.
Novak said that the school will do
something in Justin's memory after some discussion about different
"Justin was a remarkable kid," Novak