DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. - A state-championship winning team is asking for prayers.
The legendary softball coach at North Davidson High School has taken a turn for the worst. Coach Mike Lambros is now in hospice care - with stage four pancreatic cancer. It's a battle he's been fighting for more than a year.
Coach With Cancer Leads Team To State Softball Title!
It's currently the off-season, and all the girls’ softball team can think about right now is Mike Lambros: their leader, mentor and coach. They can't even imagine starting the season without him in the dugout.
The team is united by the love of the game, and a 2017 state championship title.
“It was indescribable,” said center fielder Faith Jarvis.
“You finally realize that this is what we have worked up to,” said Megan Motsinger, who plays first base.
But there's one more thing - more important than the rest: North Davidson’s softball team is united by the love of Coach Mike Lambros.
“He was there, he stuck with them, you know he could've easily just went and said I can't make it,” said Billy Gerald, the pitching coach.
For more than 20 years, Gerald worked side by side with Coach Lambros, building a powerhouse of a team. But now, he's saying his goodbyes to his longtime friend.
“We had our last telephone conversation last week. It's been pretty tough do you watch him go from someone being extremely energetic,” he said, “[Last Wednesday] we went over to his house, and sat down - four of the coaches. And we stayed there for maybe a couple of hours, talking softball, and he sat up and talk to us, and every once in a while he laid down. We had a great conversation with him.”
The legendary Lambros was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer last year. Recently, those close to the coach said he took a turn for the worst. Even in hospice care, he is still giving encouraging words to his girls.
“He said I won't be here this season but I will still be watching,” said Jarvis, “We realize that he fought harder then we could've ever imagined. So, everything that he has given us we need to in turn continue his legacy for him.”
That legacy is sure to last, not only in the naming of the high school's field - or on the back of championship jerseys, but in the players taking the field.
“You’re going to see him because that part will never leave,” said Gerald, “The program he built is going to be there forever.”
North Davidson has 2 fast pitch softball championships in its history, both of those came under Coach Lambros. The team says he taught them to be the best players and people possible.