Woodlake rallies around former football coach in his final days

WOODLAKE, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's bigger than football. After decades of coaching on the football field, a Woodlake man is nearing the end of his life.

Coach Mario Misquez has been battling cirrhosis for years but in the past few months, it's progressed quickly.

This week, many of his former players came together for one last tribute.

They showed up on his front lawn, chanting and running plays from practice.

"They did their chant and prayed for him," said Christine Misquez, Mario's wife. " I said 'the boys are here for you' and he lifted his arms."

His wife describes it as a touching tribute.

Misquez spent most of his life on the football field -- as both a player and a coach.

"He's touched many lives of the kids we have here today, varsity and junior level," said Manuel Martinez, interim Head Coach at Woodlake High School.

His former players share what they'll remember about their coach.

"He was a great man. He brought a lot of smiles. He was a jokester. On the sidelines, he'd always hype us up," said Chito Palafox, senior at Woodlake High School.

"He was always bringing a different kind of energy to the team. The one guy you could count on to cheer us up," said Isaiah Nicolas, senior at Woodlake High School.

Now, Mario is spending his final days at home -- with close friends and family.

"I haven't given up, I'm still praying for a miracle," said Christine Misquez.
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