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Football team ends losing streak in honor of a player who's batt - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Football team ends losing streak in honor of a player who's battling leukemia

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MAMOU, La. -

A Mamou football player who is battling leukemia and an underdog football team are helping each other through hard times.

Justin Fontenot was diagnosed with leukemia the summer before his senior year. However, he doesn't have to fight the battle alone.

Mamou High School has shown support to Fontenot since he was diagnosed.

During a pep rally at Mamou high school, students traded in their normal school colors for orange. It’s a color that symbolizes strength and support for an athlete battling leukemia.

The roaring cheers during the pep rally were a sound of a community rallying behind Fontenot, who is facing the biggest battle of his life. 

“To know that everybody was there for me and I could have a shoulder to cry on, it really felt good to know that I had that support," Fontenot said.

Fontenot hasn’t been able to play football or even attend school this year.

"It's been kind of rough,” Fontenot said.

“I had, like a stroke, and I couldn't move the whole right side of my body. I'm starting to do better. I got to go to physical therapy, so I could start walking again and stuff. It's been pretty rough, but I'm getting through it."

Even though Fontenot can't physically be on the football field, he doesn't have to tackle this alone. His teammates have dedicated the season to him.  However, the team has had a rocky road like Fontenot.

“We haven't won a game in a few years," Mamou football player NaKyrien Jack said.

For three years, Mamou has had a losing streak, and on the day of their homecoming game, Fontenot gave them a few words of encouragement. 

"I wish I could be out on the field with y’all,” Fontenot said to the team before the game. “Y’all go out there and play hard, and y’all win." 

The team responded to Fontenot, letting him know the game was going to be played in his honor and winning is exactly what they did.

The team broke its losing streak and won their homecoming game.

"It was a great feeling,” football player Thomas Atkins said. “All of the fans rushed the field." 

It was more than just a win for the team, but a win for Fontenot. 

"We got to fight for the win. Just looking at him and his situation, if he gives up, he could lose his life,” Atkins said. “But, he keeps on fighting. " 

Jack added, "By us winning that game, I think it symbolizes that by us coming out of hard times, he can come out of hard times as well." 

Fontenot is undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and while he continues to battle off the field, the school is battling on to bring joy to Fontenot. 

"We're going to keep fighting for Justin, and we love him," Jack said.

Fontenot added, "No matter what it is or what happens, just keep fighting, and don't give up, and you can get through it. " 

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