Injured Fresno County correctional officer is also high school football coach

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Toamalama Scanlan is a former Fresno State football player and joined Fresno Christian High School as a volunteer coach this year. (KFSN)

Toamalama Scanlan is a former Fresno State football player and joined Fresno Christian High School as a volunteer coach this year.

"I pray for wisdom for these doctors and nurses," Pastor Russ Counts told his congregation. "I pray for comfort for the family, and I pray for healing, God."

Counts led the people of Foundation Baptist Church in prayer Sunday morning.

"Prayer is a powerful piece that needs to be emphasized at this time," he said.

He knows Scanlan from the football program at Fresno Christian High School where Counts is also the head coach. Scanlan is the defensive line coach and news of the shooting has the team shattered.

"Several of the players came down to the hospital where I met them and we kind of talked through things," Counts said. "And I walked them up so they could see where the waiting room was and all the people that are pouring out their care and love and prayers."

The team played on their home field Friday night with the man, who went by Malama for short, on the sidelines. He's a volunteer coach who is described as a people person and passionate about every single guy on the field.

"He looks into the heart and soul of a player and he pulls the best out of that," Counts said. "You know, he doesn't try to make them all the same. He makes each one the best they can be."

Their next game is this Friday night where that passion will be reflected on the man who set the tone.

"We'll be playing heart and soul for Malama," Counts exclaimed. "Those boys are going to come out ready to play ball. They love Malama. They're going to come out with fire to represent him well."
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