One month after winning a Georgia high school football state championship, Buddy Nobles passes away from cancer

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It was one of the feel-good stories of the 2019 high school football season — Irwin County’s Buddy Nobles battling stomach cancer and some of Georgia’s best high school football teams on the way to the school’s first state football championship since 1975.

Related: Irwin County finished No. 8 in our Small Schools Top 25.

Nobles, who hoisted Georgia Class 1A Public championship trophy a little more than a month ago from his wheelchair, passed away Wednesday after his months-long battle with stomach cancer.

Irwin County Schools superintendent Dr. Thad Clayton posted the following on Facebook:

“Our Coach, Buddy Nobles, has passed from this life and is now in the presence of our Lord. He finished his fight with cancer peacefully in the night surrounded by his family. Irwin County Schools has lost a true man of God who will have an everlasting impact on many students, players, coaches and colleagues.”

Dr. Thad Clayton, Irwin County Schools Superintendent

The team’s defensive coordinator Casey Soliday became the interim head coach early in the season, but Nobles coached most games while seated in a wooden stand built for him by the school’s agriculture department.

Nobles became the Indians head coach in 2014, winning five regional titles and five state championship appearances. However, IC was 0-4 before the championship win in December.

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Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.