SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - "Get after it."
It's been almost six years since beloved high school football coach Scot Bemis, 45, died after a battle with lung cancer. But his catchphrase continues to inspire others.
Bemis was the head coach at Notre Dame Prep High School in Scottsdale and meant a lot to the community he served.
To honor him, an estimated 250 community members and former players participated in the 8th annual Bemis Bowl Thursday morning.
It's become a yearly Thanksgiving Day tradition.
"Coach Bemis was a coach, a teacher, but most importantly, he was a good man," said Nic Orlando, who played for Bemis as a senior back in 2012. "He taught me everything from sportsmanship to being reliable, being honest, but most importantly getting after it."
"It simply just means bring enthusiasm and a good attitude to everything or whatever it is," explained Orlando.
Melissa Bemis, Scot's wife, held back tears as she watched the community come together for her and her family.
"I'm so grateful," she said. "I look forward to coming here every year to get a hug from these people that brought this all together."
"They're still here for us. Everybody wants to be here and it's just so it's amazing," she added.
Organizers estimate this year's event will raise about $8,000 for lung cancer research and educational scholarships.
"It's what he would've wanted. It's what feels right," said Melissa.
She hopes anyone who may be setting goals or facing challenging times hears her late-husband's message.
"Get after it, because you just never know," she said. "So you just need to always live life to the absolute fullest."