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'He made us who we are now': The rally for Icon Baseball Coach battling ALS

How one Central Texas baseball coach is inspiring his athletes by defying the odds both on and off the diamond.

TEMPLE, Texas — Fans in the stands are a norm at every Icon Baseball event. But, there is one person who never misses a game, despite all odds. 

Jeff Alley, a man who battles ALS, founded the Icon Baseball League in 2016 as a way to help athletes play college ball. He has continued to serve as an inspiration to not only his family, but his players.

Icon Baseball teammates, Miguel Sanchez and Landyn McCloud, idolize Jeff Alley.

“He has made us who we are now," Sanchez said. 

"He is 100% the reason why we are both probably going to end up playing in college and play at a higher level,"  Landyn McCloud said. 

He has continued to serve as an inspiration but now more than ever. He is their warrior. After getting COVID in August of 2021, he was diagnosed with ALS three months later in November; an illness that killed his father. 

"I was already showing signs of ALS before I caught COVID," Jeff Alley said. "After my battle with COVID it kind of triggered it more."

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

His ability to function was stripped away, but his wife, Sonya Alley, says they refuse to let it limit their life.

"It was rough," Sonya Alley said. "We have to appreciate the time we have and do everything we love and be around everyone that we love."

Landyn McCloud's mom, Sheena McCloud, appreciates how Jeff Alley's fight inspires the athletes he coaches.

"Just the fact that he lived shows a lot about him," Sheena McCloud said. "He also has had to go through the mental battle because he has seen his dad die from this."

Each morning is different for Alley and some are better than others. But, he wakes up with the same mentality and never fails to take the hardest times with a smile on his face.

"Just rise up and fight every day," Jeff Alley said.

It's no secret that Jeff Alley is the glue that holds this team together. 

"We love coach Jeff," Sheena McCloud said. "He is amazing and Icon wouldn't be Icon without him."

He will be sitting right there on that sideline for as long as he possibly can.

If you want to support Jeff Alley in this rally, please consider donating to their Go Fund Me page linked here. Even $1 can go a long way, they said.

Make sure to follow him on TikTok for all of the warrior's latest updates.  

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