Aurora senior back on the field after beating cancer - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Aurora senior back on the field after beating cancer

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From the outside looking in, Matthew Oswald seems like your typical high school senior. He loves his family, he loves his friends, and he loves football. But, his journey back to the gridiron for his senior season at Aurora High School wasn't a straight line. The detour started in April, 2012.

"They found a football-sized tumor in my Thymus Gland in my chest," Oswald said. 

It was cancer. With a strong faith to guide him, Oswald maintained hope.

"I knew if I wasn't going to be here, I would be in a better place," he said. "But, if I was going to be here, it wasn't going to be from me."

Head Coach Randy Huebert says Oswald is simply a kid who loves football. But, it took more than a passion for the game to keep his head up.

"He has an extremely strong faith and that had a huge impact on his life," Coach Huebert said. 

Oswald would lose his hair, but never his spirit. For two-plus years, the family made monthly trips to Omaha for check-ups and chemotherapy treatments. He couldn't play his sophomore season, but he was on the sidelines every chance he got.

"He is a player who loves the game of football. He loves the camaraderie. It's written all over his face," coach Huebert said. 

Once junior year rolled around, Oswald was given the all-clear to lace up the cleats once more. However, another obstacle was on its way. Early in the season, Oswald broke his leg, ending his season. 

"You just can't sweat the small stuff," he said. "In the end, it really doesn't matter."

Adversity didn't have any affect on his attitude. The toughest battle of his life wasn't on the football field, but in the hospital. Always smiling in the face of uncertainty, this July there was finally a winner. Oswald officially beat cancer.

Last Friday against Crete, he lined up as the starting running back for the Aurora Huskies. A senior, he's not only a football player, but a survivor and a leader.

"You just have to show up every practice, you do the best you can and set an example for the younger players," Oswald said. 

His faith and family have led him to this point. Now, he wants to lead the Huskies to the state playoffs.

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