DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) – “I started playing when I was in third grade. It was one of those things where you have friends playing and you aren’t great at other sports, so you figure you’ll try soccer. Somehow it all clicked,” said Daphne soccer coach Adam Looney.
Soccer has been a part of Adam Looney’s life for as long as he can remember. But in late 2018, something was off.
“I was having really bad stomach and back pains. We really didn’t know what was going on at the time,” said Coach Looney.
On New Year’s eve, Coach Looney was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumors on his spine and liver.
“At the time of my diagnosis, I weighed about 120 pounds. I was fading away and looked awful,” said Coach Looney. “For me to get it at my age is particularly rare, so at the time of diagnosis my doctors were honest and said there’s no way to tell how this is going to go.”
Despite his diagnosis, Coach Looney remained positive.
“I remember when I contacted my athletic director at Satsuma and told him about my diagnosis, the first thing I said after that was that I could still do this job,” said Coach Looney.
Following his diagnosis, he continued to coach the Gators then moved over to take the head coaching job at Daphne. Without soccer, he’s not sure he’d be where he is right now.
“This is massive for me. If I didn’t have this, there’s no telling what would be going on. This is just a huge psychological lift for me not just to move but to see the guys,” said Coach Looney.
His first season at Daphne was cut short due to COVID-19. The pandemic has changed how all of us live our lives, but for Coach Looney it’s another opportunity for him to teach life lessons to his players.
“Sometimes people look at me funny when I say things could be worse and they could be and they were,” said Coach Looney. “If I didn’t get on the medication and the doctors didn’t intervene when they did I may not be here today doing this.”
He’s grateful for each day, especially the ones he spends on the soccer pitch. As the Trojans gear up for another season, Coach Looney hopes he and his team can continue to surprise people.
“I remember the first time I went back in to see my doctor at Mobile Infirmary, and I had my weight back and told him I was riding the bike and I saw the look of surprise on his face. That energized me, if I could surprise him a little then what’s stopping me from continuing to surprise these guys?” said Coach Looney.
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