A true fighting Scot in a true battle

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Wooster and No. 14
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By Austin Walther
for D3sports.com

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. – Sam Severance was hoping to be here, in uniform, trying to earn at-bats and help Wooster win its first Division III baseball national championship.

If not that, at least to be with his team on the bench. Or in the stands.

Sam Severance Instead, while his teammates are here, Severance is at home, saving his strength.

Severance entered his senior season with the Scots ready to play ball with a talented group of guys, but he received news at the beginning of the year that would eventually prevent him from having that experience.

He had some problems with a benign tumor in his heel bone for three and a half years, but never did anything about it. It was relatively harmless at the time, just giving him some pain which he battled through. Severance then decided to get it removed last July.

“I had a pretty good fall semester,” Severance said. “But the tumor came back which was relatively normally for the type of tumor I had.”

It was named osteoblastoma, sending Severance through another surgery to have it removed. He thought it was going to be the same as his last surgery until his pathology came back.

“When they did the pathology, it came back and was changed to osteosarcoma,” Severance said. “It’s very rare for that to happen. My pathology was passed around to different doctors because it was not supposed to happen.”

After several evaluations, they broke the news to him on Jan. 5 that it was a lot more serious than what was originally diagnosed. He had cancer.

“Two weeks later is when we moved forward with treating it,” Severance said. “I started chemotherapy the last week of February and have been doing it ever since.”

The regular treatments have been tough on Severance. He’s had to miss Wooster’s great run. “I really wanted to go watch them play at the conference tournament, the regional and at the World Series, but I’ve been in and out of the hospital.”

There’s no doubt that the team is thinking about their senior who had to forgo his final season because of a terrible disease. He keeps in touch with them when he’s able, but Severance doesn’t want it to be too much where they can’t focus on the task in front of them.

Severance is going to be tuned in all weekend as long as the Fighting Scots are in the tournament. He wants to be in Appleton, but he’ll be doing his cheering from home.

“It’s kind of tough for me since I don’t have the energy to go do all that stuff,” Severance said. “I stay away, but let them know that I’m watching them and cheering them on. They know I would be there, I just can’t get it done.”

Wooster shouldn’t do anything different than it has been doing all season. They were one of the top teams all season in the D3baseball.com polls and while it didn’t show on Friday night, the Scots have the bats to stick around in the tournament.

Severance doesn’t want the team to get too caught up in the moment, but on the other hand, they need to take in the experience because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I would tell them to just go out and play like they normally would,” Severance said. “They have a lot of talent on that team. It’s a big stage and the nerves can get to you, but just keep doing what they have been doing all year.”

Severance just got done with a round of chemo a little while ago, so it’s been a little rough lately. He said it takes a lot out of you. It’s an emotional roller coaster.

There’s no doubt though that if Wooster has a very successful tournament, his spirits will be raised. He wishes more than anything to be out there with his teammates competing for a World Series victory.

“The positivity outweighs the negativity and that’s something you have to pay attention to,” Severance said. “If you let your mind go, it makes it worse.

“I would do just about anything to be out there with those guys.”