Alex joined staff at the beginning of his junior year. He is currently the business and public relations manager. In his free time, he enjoys lacrosse, football, wrestling, and getting big. Read Full »
Chip Sherman is the head football coach, a wrestling coach and a P.E. teacher at SM East. This is his third year in the building.
Sherman was born and raised in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He is one of seven kids; five boys and two girls. Throughout his entire life, Sherman has been very close to his siblings. Sherman has always enjoyed sports. He enjoyed playing “anything with a ball.” Sherman spent most of his time hanging out with his family and friends, and usually playing some kind of sport. During his childhood, things like the TV and computer played no part in his life.
“There wasn’t a whole lot in the house to do, so I just liked going outside and playing,” Sherman said. “We didn’t have any money, so we couldn’t go to movies or anything like that.”
Sherman attended Point Pleasant Beach High School. He describes himself as your average New Jersey kid. There were times when he got into trouble, but he also made many great choices, which helped to shape him into the person he is today. As a kid, Sherman tried a variety of sports. Though he enjoyed most of them, he found his niche in two – football, and wrestling. Sherman realized they were his strongest sports as early as fifth or sixth grade because he was good at others, but he was great at football and wrestling. Sherman wasn’t the most naturally talented athlete, but he made up for it by working hard. He wrestled through high school, and played football all the way through college. During his high school career, Sherman was a very accomplished football running back, as well as a state champion wrestler; he learned what it takes to have success.
“Before I was in high school, I worked hard because the coach told me to do so. I didn’t really know why I was working hard, but then, with those moments when you do well and you succeed, you say, ‘That’s why I was working hard.’”
After high school, Sherman attended Tarkio College and Northwest Missouri State University. In college, Sherman continued to play football, majoring in Physical Education and Recreation to help prepare for his upcoming coaching career. To Sherman, the most rewarding part about college was meeting his future wife, Angela. The first time Sherman met her was at a high school football game at Tarkio University. Angela was from a farm in Iowa, and Sherman was from New Jersey. People called them “The hick and the slick.” Sherman proposed to Angela on the New Jersey beach during the first time he took her to meet his parents.
“I figured I better get it done now, because if she gets away from them she may not ever go back,” Sherman said.
In order to buy her ring, he saved up all of his money from past summers. Chip and Angela got married between their junior and senior years. In the early years of his marriage, Sherman didn’t have a lot of time to spend with his wife. Both he and Angela were busy with work and school. Sherman was playing football, working at Pizza Hut, and taking classes, but when they did find time, they used it to hang out together.
Out of college, Sherman decided to coach. He started in large schools in Southern Kansas City. After two years of marriage, Chip and Angela Sherman had kids. In the span of five-and-a-half years, they had four children- Katie, Jessica, Keith, and Zach. Sherman didn’t have a lot of money, so his family spent most of their time together. They often went to playgrounds, the Zoo, and they went to the pool everyday during the summer. Even today, Sherman see his kids all the time; some weekly at church, others biweekly, but he makes sure to keep in touch with them.
Once Sherman’s kids began to grow up, he decided his family needed change. He and his wife wanted to get them to a smaller school, and a smaller town, because he thought it would provide them with a closer community. Platte County had an opening for head football coach, so Sherman interviewed for the position, and was chosen for it. Platte County “fit the bill.” During his time at Platte County, Sherman led the football team to an astonishing 191-37 record as well as 10 league and 12 district championships. He also coached some phenomenal wrestling teams. Although he had some great statistics, Sherman believes there are more important things than numbers.
“Wins and losses. A lot of people have those. A lot of people have state championship rings, a lot of people have that. But, the thing I think separates the guys that have those, is when the guys are respected… because of the way they handled themselves,” said Sherman.
Sherman’s whole family was athletic. Keith and Zach, like their father, both found success in sports. They were both able to win wrestling state championships, and they were both All-State football players. Angela was a runner, Katie was a state champion gymnast and a runner who participated in the state tournament, and Jessica was a softball, basketball and baseball player.
Sherman encouraged and helped his kids toward success, but he never pushed too hard. He said that success can be found with two factors: “You have to have faith and perseverance. By perseverance I mean you never can give up, just keep working, keep doing the right things: keep going, keep going, keep going. Second, you have to have faith. Keep doing the right things and you act the right way, and you work hard, good things are going to happen. That will all take care of itself.”
After a fantastic 20 years at Platte County, Sherman had to leave. All four of his children had graduated college, so there was a substantial amount of money owed in college loans. In order to try and help pay them off, Sherman retired in Missouri, and went to Kansas. Sherman took the job at Salina South for one year, before leaving for SM East, which was closer to his home than Salina.
“[Leaving] was unbelievably hard, but I had to do it, and it’s been a blessing. I’ve made new friends, I’ve met new people, I meet new kids, and I get to start a program basically over again. It was fun. I’m back in the building mode instead of the maintaining mode. That to me was fun, it was really refreshing.”
After leaving Platte County, Sherman was inducted into the Missouri Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He enjoyed the honor because it was awarded to him by his peers- other coaches and a committee.
Now at East, Sherman has improved the program.
“Lots and lots and lots of people said [turning the SM East football program around] couldn’t be done.” Sherman said. “I just felt like we could do it. We have good kids, good families, we have a good school. There is no reason why we couldn’t be good at football.”
Sherman led the Lancers to a 8-1 regular season record last year including a district championship and a shared Sunflower League championship. It was only his second year with the program.
To this day, the most important thing to Sherman is family. He and his wife maintain great relationships with their children and their grandchildren. Sherman is currently fighting through Stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer. He still attends almost every single practice, and rarely takes days off from teaching. The only days he misses are when he has Chemotherapy. Not even cancer can keep Chip Sherman from the football field.
Update: Since the beginning of February, Sherman has been free from any more cancer cells.