The other side

SHS coaches help their players on and off the field


David Masengale

Head girls soccer coach and social studies teacher Nicole Duncan sits down with senior soccer player Ava Pierle. The girls soccer team finished with a final record of 4-12.

At the beginning of the second quarter of the school year, sophomore Charlie Schott realized he was having trouble in his chemistry class, but he knew exactly who to go to. He immediately found himself receiving help from the varsity football offensive line coach, Bryan Elliott. Coaches at SHS spend much of their day making sure their players not only improve physically and athletically, but also as people outside of the sport.

“I probably spend as much time with (the players) as I do with my actual family,” head football coach Brandon Winters said.

Many coaches do whatever they can in order to try and help their players. Head lacrosse coach Thomas Wright makes sure he gives his players the best opportunity possible to play the sport they enjoy after high school. According to junior lacrosse player Nick Frank, Wright has helped him and other players sign up for recruiting websites. 

Wright also encourages his athletes to put as much time as they can into lacrosse outside of playing for the school. According to Wright, they have also participated in a seven-on-seven tournament earlier this year.

“Some of the kids have been playing in tournaments outside of the season,” Wright said.

Although Wright does a lot for the players involving lacrosse, he also makes sure he is there for his players when they need his support the most. At the beginning of the 2019 lacrosse season, the Cards lost their head coach, Brian Thomas. Even with the incident occurring just months before the lacrosse season began, assistant coaches such as Wright did what they could to be there for their players in order to prepare them for the season ahead. 

“(The season) was a little more relaxed,” sophomore Matthew Judd said. 

According to Judd, Wright was always there for the players after school. Wright offered for players to stay after school as long as they needed for private conversations, and he provided one more person they could rely on. 

Wright is just one of many coaches at SHS that has consistently been there for his players. Winters has also found ways to help his team through hard times. He makes it known that he is available for his players if they need someone to talk to when they find themselves in a difficult situation.

“Every once in a while they’ll need to reach out because they need some help or advice,” Winters said. 

Sophomore football player Zach Shepherd recently found himself receiving some advice from Winters during a difficult family situation. Shepherd’s father unexpectedly passed away on the morning of Oct. 13, Shepherd’s family struggled with the situation, but Winters was very willing them through the hard times. 

“He was just able to comfort me while I was in this situation,” Shepherd said.

Given the time commitments of an athletic season, athletes may need additional support from their coaches since they may not have the chance to talk to their family members. Between going to school, staying after in order to practice and being at school all day on a game day, athletes spend most of their time away from home during the season. Coaches provide another person for their players to go to in a time of need. 

“Them being part of the family that is this team means I want them to reach out if they need help,” Winters said.