UPDATE: Auburn's Sockwell completes long journey back from cancer, in the endzone

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UPDATED: August 29, 2016

ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Auburn High School's senior wide receiver Trevihon Sockwell made his triumphant return to the gridiron, Friday night, after a nearly 15-month battle with cancer. In the 2nd-quarter, Sockwell (and his 25 extra pounds) caught a quick hitch at the eight-yard-line and juked a defender on his way to diving across the pylon. It marked a new beginning in the young man's story.

"Well to be honest with you, it was amazing!" Sockwell gleamed. "It was an amazing feeling getting back on the field and doing my thing. Before the game I prayed to God to help me prove a point to these people that it is my year, and as soon as i crossed the goal line, I'm not even going to lie to you, I felt like the man. Me and my team did a great job last Friday and if we keep improving we will be great this year"

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Football players all around the country will be seen wearing, seemingly, pink everything next month in support of breast cancer. However, there's another color that represents something perhaps equally as important in September.

"I didn't want to take the credit of me being the center of attention," Trevihon Sockwell said.

But these yellow shoelaces are hard to miss. Sockwell is wearing them proudly this month for childhood cancer awareness. Rather than the Auburn wide-receiver out-running defensive backs, this 16 year-old is trying to burn cancer. He was diagnosed with stage-3 lymphoma in early June.

"The monetary things are wonderful but it's the prayers that are uplifting and that mean the most," Trevihon's father William said.

"We just want people to know that we're available to provide support for families who are struggling financially," Michelle Ernsdorff said.

Ernsdorff is a cancer survivor and the founder of Compass to Care, a non-profit organization that helps hundreds of kids, like Sockwell, get to and from their chemotherapy treatments by selling yellow shoelaces during “Replace the Lace” events seen at some high school football games.

"This is a great way to spread the word that we have this fantastic organization that can help these kids get treatment especially in Rockford," Ernsdorff said.

The effort has caught the attention of some other not-for-profits.

"This is a great cause," Kick-in-for-Cancer Chairman Scott Simpson said. "Everybody needs a little help sometimes. We're trying to beat it and just trying to help him out a bit."

Simpson bought enough laces to make sure everyone on the field, at Auburn’s second game of the season, had some.

"Two rivalry teams come out here to compete but also show their support for my son," William Sockwell said. "I mean, it was overwhelming"

The game raised nearly $4,000 for families battling childhood cancer; over $500 of that goes directly to Trevihon Sockwell said the best part of the night was celebrating the win with his teammates.

To find out more about Compass to Care and to donate go to www.ReplaceTheLace.org


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Trevihon Sockwell says he lives for Friday night lights, but he'll have to watch this season from the sidelines as he undergoes rigorous chemotherapy treatments for stage three lymphoma, commonly know as Hodgkin's disease.

"When I got told, my heart just fell because I'm all about sports," said Sockwell. "That's life. I didn't care about the cancer at the time. When my momma told me that I had the cancer my first question I asked was was it curable. The second was would I ever play football again. She said not this year and I just busted into tears."

The Winnebago County Corrections Department, Rockford Fire and Rockford Police all put on their 12th annual charity flag football game for him. And they played on the field Sockwell dreams of getting back on before the Auburn junior graduates.

The 16-year-old was diagnosed June 2nd and says he will strap on the pads one day in the future thanks to everybody who supported him on Saturday.

"It means everything to me for these guys to take time out of their work to come do this for me," Sockwell said. "It means a lot and it means the world."

Event organizers say the game helped raise over $2,500 for Sockwell's treatments. It has been a tradition for 25 years, but it only started being for charity 12 years ago and the beneficiary can change each year.