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Mayfield hockey coach Steve Bogas passes away after valiant cancer battle

Mar. 18—Longtime Mayfield hockey coach Steve Bogas, who went public in October with his battle against liver cancer, died March 18.

News of Bogas' death began to circulate in the morning, followed by an outpouring of social-media tributes across the Greater Cleveland hockey community.

I am heartbroken over the passing of Mayfield Hockey Coach Steve Bogas. Too soon. Please keep his family in your thoughts. #HeightsHockeyFamily #MayfieldHockey Cancer Sucks. I will miss our post show conversations. But, they will make me laugh.

— Andy Baskin (@andy_baskin) March 18, 2024

Jacob Macula, a 2016 Mayfield graduate who played for Bogas and just concluded his first season as head coach of his alma mater, said he received word via a phone call from Athletic Director Keith Leffler around 10 a.m. of the sad news.

The Mayfield Family was devastated to learn of the passing of Steve Bogas this morning. A leader of the Wildcat Hockey program for 15 years. Please keep his young family in your thoughts and prayers. https://t.co/sN1jxhhCLq

— Mayfield Athletics (@MayfieldSports) March 18, 2024

"Unfortunately, Steve had a setback last week," Macula said. "I didn't know when it was going to happen personally, but I hoped there was a lot more time.

"It's just very emotional. It's just very hard. Having been around the last 15 years, obviously very, very tough. My heart is honestly broken for him and his family."

Macula said Leffler gathered the team at school to share the news. Macula was also in contact with parents to let them know if they were not aware.

"Steve was a fighter. He fought so hard," Macula said. "He inspired us the entire season, that fight he had. I have no doubt in my mind that watching him fight through this will only help fuel us going forward."

In October, Bogas disclosed for the first time publicly that he had been diagnosed the prior month with what he described as a "rare" form of liver cancer.

Mayfield hockey coach Steve Bogas on liver cancer diagnosis: 'We'll fight with the best of them'

Bogas began chemotherapy in late October.

This past season, Bogas transitioned from being head coach for the Wildcats, a role which he held for 14 seasons, into being an assistant for Macula.

Amid his diagnosis, Bogas remained a constant at the rink. In December, he was honored with a benefit and tribute in a GCHSHL Blue South game against Chagrin Falls at Gilmour, called "Sticks Out For Bogas." Benefits were also held at the youth level for Bogas and his family, including an October event organized by Mentor Youth Hockey titled "Hocus Bogas."

Mayfield hockey: Wildcats honor coach with 'Sticks Out For Bogas,' are optimistic for program's long haul

In October, as he described his cancer battle, he spoke to The News-Herald about his desire to wage the strongest battle he could.

"It's going to be a tough fight — and I can fight," Bogas said at the time. "We'll fight with the best of them."

Coming soon

A tribute to Bogas, via Chris Lillstrung's weekly high school sports column, will be published March 19 online and in the March 20 print edition.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of mayfield hockey coach Steve Bogas who passed away this morning. A great friend and a great coach who has left us way too young. RIP Steve you will be missed.

— Mark Ferfolia (@MarkFerfolia) March 18, 2024

@mentorhockey @MentorAthletics The Cards hockey family sends its heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the family of Mayfield hockey coach Steve Bogas who passed away this morning. A great Husband, Father, Coach and first class individual. Rest in Peace Steve.

— Paul McKito (@BigRedDukes7) March 18, 2024