Fischer leaves lasting legacy at Louisa

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LOUISA, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- While interviewing to come back as Louisa County's head football coach in 2014, Mark Fischer was asked one final question -- why do you want to come back to Louisa County?

Fischer's answer was short. "I want to grow old and die here."

The former Louisa County football coach died Sunday night after a seven year battle with cancer.

During his final season at Louisa County, the Lions renamed the football field in honor of Fischer. Now his name will always be synonymous with Louisa County football.

"His legacy is going to live here forever," said current Louisa County head coach Will Patrick. "As long as I'm the head coach here too, we're going to do things the right way. The way he taught me how to do things."

"He's fought so hard against this stuff," said Charlottesville football coach Eric Sherry, "and unfortunately the day has come for that. It's just sad."

In his two stints as head coach of the Lions, Fischer won 96 games. He coached Louisa to three unbeaten regular seasons and two trips to state championship games, including his final season in 2017.

"When I first came in I remember just hearing about Louisa football," said Albemarle football coach Brandon Isaiah, "and just the toughness and the style of play that they had and I feel like he was the man that embodied that."

"Louisa football right now," Sherry added, "the first thing you think about right now if you've been around here any length of time, you're going to think about Mark Fischer. What he did out there was fantastic."

Fischer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012 while he was coaching in South Carolina. Fischer fought through cancer treatments and kidney dialysis until his retirement from coaching following the 2017 football season. His fellow coaches say that showed his toughness on and off the football field.

"He had a saying. RTI. Run through it," Patrick said. "That's one thing he always said when he got diagnosed seven years ago. These past seven years been battling. He battled harder than most people probably would have."

"He faced it like a champ," Sherry added. "He wasn't backing down from the fight that was ahead of him. He completely stood that ground."

There's one thing everyone agrees on, Mark Fischer is Louisa County football.

"When I was coaching at Chancellor," Sherry said, "that Louisa, you'd want them for the homecoming game. Football wasn't a big deal in Louisa. He changed that. Obviously, the community attached to him pretty quickly."

"All those kids have had an opportunity to work with him," Isaiah added. "At the same time, I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to learn from him and obviously compete against him and share some great memories."

"He's definitely taught me a lot of great things over the past 12 years," Patrick said. "I'm going to miss him. That's all I can say. I'm going to miss him."