Jenks, Union take the field in first Backyard Bowl since Allan Trimble was diagnosed with ALS

Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2019-12-03 14:36:41-05

TULSA - Tulsa’s biggest high school rivalry wouldn't be complete without the emotions that come along with it.

This year’s marks the first showdown between Jenks and Union following Jenk’s head coach Allan Trimble's diagnosis with ALS.

Trimble says despite ALS, he doesn't plan on that tradition ending any time soon.

“There’s a lot of great things that we're really soaking up now with maybe a little more passion,” Trimble said.

He's prepared for battle on the football field. It's a special moment since he nearly retired earlier this year but something drew him back.

“A few days after that, you get a diagnosis of a terminal disease, again if God puts you on a platform, you might as well take it, right?” he said.

Trimble learned he had ALS, which is a disorder that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. But for the second time, he didn't give up on his team.

“There are a lot more opponents in those areas now but man it’s worth every minute of it,” he said.

“It’s a lot of fun and we look forward to the battle any time we can go against Coach Trimble,” said Union High School head coach Kirk Fridrich.

Fridrich has coached against Trimble for decades and knows him by his cheerful disposition.

“I think he deflects some of the stress that way and that's always good to have in the jobs that we have and in a situation like tonight,” Fridrich said.

While the two teams take the field as foes, all of them stand behind a coach who's making the most out of life.

“It’s been sustaining, it's been supportive for us and again, our prayer is that as goofy as it may seem, that this situation be unifying for everyone,” said Trimble.

Trimble says he has no idea whether he'll be back next year. He believes the only one who truly knows the answer is God, but he says he'll stay as long as he can.