Teen back on the soccer field after beating cancer

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- In his senior season at Wisconsin's Marshfield Columbus, Team Captain Ryan Dieringer is having the time of his life. He is all smiles and chatting it up with his teammates on the field.

"You think that would be a cool shot?" he asked as the camera focused on him, waiting to shoot. "I don't know if I can do it."

He did though, and he said it looked pretty cool.

What's even cooler is the way this season has gone for the 17-year-old. So far, he's scored eight goals and nine assists, and both are good for second on the team.

"His shot is probably his biggest strength," said Jeff Edwards, head coach. "He's got a shot that can go 30 to 35 yards and it knuckles."

While Ryan's leadership, unselfish play and shot has helped lead his team to a 13-1 record this year. But less than a year ago, no one knew if he would even make it back to play sports, let alone soccer.

"I went down to state basketball in Madison and felt a lot of pain in my hip area," Dieringer recalled. "I knew something was wrong."

After consulting doctors and doing tests to figure out the reason for the pain, on April 23, 2015, he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma: a rare cancer that affects just 200 people each year.

"Initially, I was just in shock," he said. "I didn't believe this was happening to me."

The three-sport athlete's life was turned upside down, but he remained positive

"At first I said, 'Why me? Why did this happen to me?' But then I said, 'Maybe I was meant to do this.'"

He went through 17 rounds of chemotherapy, but he didn't do it alone. He received support from the Marshfield community, rival schools and folks from all over the globe. A RPD (Ryan Patrick Dieringer) t-shirt campaign was even started to show they were behind him.

"Thank you for your support," said Dieringer's mom, Becky. "You made the unimaginable tolerable."

This past February, doctors declared Ryan cancer-free. Seven months later, after all his hard work and determination, he's not just back playing, he's excelling.

"Nothing is impossible," he said. "I mean, if you get a challenge, hit it straight on the head."

His longtime classmate and teammate Tyler Fuerlinger believes Ryan's story is quite motivating.

"It definitely makes me want to work harder, knowing that he went through all that," the senior defenseman said.

For Ryan's dad, Derek, he is in awe of what his son has been able to do.

"You can't imagine how good it feels that he's on the field, and then just to see him performing at such a high level," he said.

Simply put, there's nothing Ryan can't do.

NOTE:
There is a high re-occurrence rate of Ewing's sarcoma, but the Dieringer family is staying positive and said they will keep on living life to the fullest.

Read the original version of this article at wsaw.com.