WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- Coach Jason Ramirez and his softball team at California High School in Whittier have accomplished so much this season, but it's been a tough road.
In March, Ramirez was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It's an illness that attacks the nervous system, weakens the muscles and impacts physical functions.
"It started with like weak legs, cramping, it was like a restless leg feeling at night," Ramirez said. "It just kind of got worse and worse."
Ramirez said he can't be on the field with his team throwing strikes or swinging the bat anymore, but his mind is still good and he can still call pitches during games. He said his team inspires him to keep fighting.
"People say I inspire them but I told them they inspire me to keep wanting to fight and come do what I love, which is coaching," he said about his team. "There's no way I could quit."
"Seeing him grow from junior year and then to senior year was pretty crazy because he got so good at the game and quick," said Nicole Amaral, a senior catcher on the team. "So that's why it was kind of a big impact when he told us he had ALS."
Ramirez has been coaching at Cal High School for five years. The last two years, the team won League Championships and this year, the team will extend their season with a Regional semi-finals game Thursday. Ramirez's players attribute a lot of their success to him.
"This field wouldn't have been here if it wasn't for him, these uniforms that we have wouldn't have been here if it wasn't for him," said Ashley Hernandez, a junior center fielder on the team. "This team together wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for him. Everything he has done has built this program."
Ramirez said his community's support has made all the difference. His team even had bracelets made in his honor to sell to others with all the proceeds going back to him.
The coach said he hopes his story brings more awareness to the rare disease.
"I just want people not to be sad or hurt or feel sorry for me at all," said Ramirez. "I just want awareness and that's what I told my girls. Just spread the word."
"The more people that get involved, help out," said Ramirez. "The easier it'll be for people like me that have ALS."
Follow Ashley on social media: