BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Jessica Tanner and Cari Doutre – Jan. 22, 2020
During the Bear River boys’ basketball game at Logan High on Wednesday, Jan. 22, fans quickly noticed that someone was missing from the sidelines - Coach Reggie Shaw.
As it turned out, the team’s head coach was watching the game from a hospital bed in Salt Lake City, awaiting surgery to remove a brain tumor that doctors discovered just the day before.
However, the game must go on and Shaw’s coaching staff took the lead without him but said Shaw’s handprints were all over the night’s big game.
The Bears made their head coach proud, beating the Grizzlies, 69-63, in Region 11 play. The celebration after was bitter-sweet but full of love and well wishes for Shaw.
Assistant Coach Ryan Sorensen said he knew Shaw was not only proud of the way his boys played, but how his coaching staff stepped up in his absence.
“That was my fear that you would mention his name,” Sorensen said while holding back tears.
“He means everything to the kids, and he loves them. I am sure this just kills him to not be here, but his handprints were all over that,” Sorensen said of the Bears’ win.
“He runs things and we just soak it all up like a sponge, so it was like he was here,” Sorensen said. “But man, we want him back. We wish him and his family well. He is a tough sucker and we can’t wait to have him back.”
“We knew our boys would have an edge on Logan tonight because of that,” he added.
Bear River High’s Athletic Director Van Park offered more insight into Shaw’s health and the last three days.
Park said that Shaw has been experiencing headaches for quite some time. Earlier, Park added, Shaw even had an eye infection, but that cleared up.
On Monday, Jan. 20, Shaw cancelled the team’s morning practice because he wasn’t feeling well. The headaches were getting worse. The next day Shaw made a visit to his eye doctor where they found an abnormality during his examination.
Shaw was told he needed to get an MRI, which he did, and those results gave him clarification on what was causing the headaches. The MRI discovered that Shaw had a mass - a brain tumor, and it needed to be dealt right away.
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Bear River High’s principal sent out an email to teachers at the school, notifying them of Shaw’s condition. Word spread fast. A media outlet outside of Box Elder County quickly broke the news and some of Shaw’s friends and students weren’t aware of his condition.
Shaw is scheduled for surgery today, Thursday, Jan. 23. at 10 a.m. at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City. His loved ones, as well as his community, are hoping for the best.
“Reggie and his family are optimistic and if things go as planned, he could come home on Sunday. That will depend on when he gets his balance and can walk. Best-case scenario the doctors will allow him to come home and go to school for half a day on Monday,” Park said.
“He has had such a positive impact on our school,” Park added. “Sometimes when coaches are brand-new they think they have to fight for everything, but he is so pleasant and accommodating. I might have a biased opinion because I have known him for so long and I coached him.”
Shaw is a homegrown Bear River boy. He graduated from Bear River High in 2005 and was a three-sport athlete. Shaw excelled at basketball, football and track for the Bears. It was that knowledge in athletics that helped Shaw nab the position of head coach for the boys’ basketball team last year.
It’s already been quite a year for Shaw, his wife Britney and their little girl.
“I love this kid and he is a positive person. He loves the game of basketball and I still remember his last game as a senior. He was in the team room because he did not want the season to be over,” Park recalled. “He loves the game of basketball and has lived it his whole life coaching younger kids. That is what he loves.”