#InFocus: New Jersey Soccer Coach Inspires Team

A local soccer coach is not letting any obstacles get in his way. He's using that determination to teach the young people on his team some invaluable life lessons.

Haddonfield , NJ (WTXF) A local soccer coach is not letting any obstacles get in his way and he's using that determination to teach the young people on his team some invaluable life lessons.

FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer shares his story.

Whether he wants to believe it—volunteer assistant coach Chip Dickson is Haddonfield High School soccer team’s inspiration.

Chip has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as ALS, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

“I am a quite cheerleader except when I am yelling at referees,” Chip told FOX 29.

Chip coached the freshman soccer team before stepping down for work in 2010.  When Ryan Nixon became Head coach in 2013 he brought Chip back as freshman coach.  Soon after, Chip got sick and has been a volunteer assistant ever since.

“He is really kind of a mentor and someone I can really look to for advice.  His wealth of experience has been a real asset for me,” said Head Coach Ryan Nixon.

The players have dedicated their season to Chip and have an impressive 17-0-1 record.

“Every time I come off the sidelines he always has a little word of advice to improve my game more.  I know that is really helpful to me and I know it is to other players, too,” said soccer player Cole Pollack.

Chip says the team inspires him as well.

“The headline was that I am an inspiration to them it is quite the opposite.  I love being here watching them work hard.  The coach sets out high expectations for them and they go for it.  I am inspired by their play, really,” Chip explained.

You cannot count on games ending on a high, but you can count on Chip getting you from feeling low.
 

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