Marysville High School assistant football coach Aaron Peitsmeyer helps with a drill during the Monarchs’ summer camp. Peitsmeyer is coaching during the coronavirus pandemic after battling cancer a few years ago. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The coronavirus pandemic has created much havoc across the globe for the past few months.
COVID-19 has taken a huge deadly toll across the world and left thousands upon thousands of others quite ill.
Folks who are age 60 and above are especially vulnerable to contract the disease, as are people with deficient immune systems.
One local person who hasn’t had much to worry about, however, is Marysville High School assistant football coach Aaron Peitsmeyer.
After a courageous battle against a rare form of cancer a few years ago, Peitsmeyer remains with the Monarchs despite the pandemic.
Peitsmeyer, 37, was stricken with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma over the summer of 2017.
He became ill when the cancer began in his liver and spread throughout his body.
He had to undergo numerous rounds of chemotherapy that greatly compromised his immune system.
With that being the case, one would think Peitsmeyer wouldn’t want to get near anyone for fear of contracting the virus.
That would be true if he was still undergoing chemotherapy.
Peitsmeyer, though, isn’t worried due to the fact all of his cancer scans have been very good during the past couple of years.
As such, he hasn’t been on chemo for quite a while. His white blood cell count is also fine.
“I go for cancer scans every six months and they’ve been clear,” said Peitsmeyer, who coaches Monarch linebackers. “I would only be at risk (for the virus) if I would have to go back on chemotherapy.
“I’ve got a clean bill of health because my scans have been clear since April of 2018.”
Along with a grueling chemotherapy regimen, Peitsmeyer had to undergo a 17-hour operation that included six surgeons.
He lost a lot of weight and was in a weakened condition for more than a year.
Peitsmeyer was eventually able to return as a Marysville classroom teacher and as a full-time assistant coach prior to the 2019 season.
He helped coach the Monarchs to a Division I state playoff berth a year ago.
Although Peitsmeyer doesn’t have any current health concerns, he’s still taking precautions in the midst of COVID-19.
He wears a mask on the practice field and during coaches meetings and supervising weight training.
The entire Monarch gridiron program is practicing social distancing when it can.
“We still have to maintain Ohio High School Athletic Association guidelines,” said Peitsmeyer.
At this point, no one really knows how or if the 2020 high school football season will be conducted.
A number of teams, though, are participating in summer camps to prepare for the campaign.
‘I know we’re all glad to be back,” said Peitsmeyer. “The guys needed this camp (which concluded on Thursday) to get back with their buddies and go through drills.”
The Monarchs will take next week off.
Preseason practice is scheduled to begin for Ohio high school fall sports teams on Saturday, Aug. 1.
The Monarchs are slated to begin two-a-day sessions on Monday, Aug. 3.
It remains uncertain what the pandemic may do to that schedule.
Peitsmeyer, though, echoes what coaches throughout the state have been saying.
“I just hope we can play this season,” he said.
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