Sunday, September 10, 2017

Meet the Coaches Night kicks off the fall season by Matt Pascarella

As summer launches into fall, it’s that time of year when students return back to school. Reading, writing and math are part of the school experience, but it also includes sports.

Last Wednesday evening, August 30, the Windham High School auditorium was filled with parents,
Ed Gerety, Motivational Speaker
students and coaching staff, as everyone gathered to “Meet the Coaches.” This presented an opportunity for parents to meet their child’s coach and learn more about the upcoming season as well as ways of positive sportsmanship.

Athletic Director Rich Drummond was the first to welcome everyone present. 

“Our goal with our Meet the Coaches Night is to improve communication between the coach-athlete-parent,” began Drummond. “Parents hear first-hand what the coach’s philosophy and team rules everyone has an understanding of our protocols and expectations before the season gets into full swing.”

Laura Morris, Project Director of Be The Influence, gave a valuable presentation about the importance of remaining substance free and making healthy choices.

Motivational speaker, Ed Gerety was the guest and offered a 40-minute presentation expressing an upbeat outlook on life and competition. He brought high energy and a powerful message of

“Make the school year the best you can be; it all begins with a positive attitude,” exclaimed Gerety. “A positive attitude plays a huge role in the decisions you make…stand up for one another, look out for one another…be respectful…be grateful and appreciative.”

Gerety was well received. At the end, athletes gave him a much deserved standing ovation.
Kate Griffin, a first year JV field hockey coach, also gave advice to the student athletes for a successful sports year. “Take it seriously. It’s a big responsibility. It’s like a job,” Griffin said.

Lauren Talbot, a varsity field hockey senior, said the team was “fired up and the most gelled” she’d seen.

Talbot added that it is important to come out and support the team. “We really like loud fans. We got this!”

Sean Cunniffee, a first year freshman on the junior varsity soccer team, said his goal was to “win games” and improve upon last year.

Deb LeBel, the head coach for varsity girls’ soccer and Jim “Jimmy” Stewart, a volunteer coach for the varsity girls, agreed the students they have are “great, talented kids with heart.” Stewart stressed the importance of soccer as a teaching tool. “There is only one winner, but [we want] the journey to be character-creating…soccer is a means to reinforce good traits. [We want the team] to be player-oriented, not team oriented.”

Boys’ varsity coach, Wally Leblanc, said his team is young and they are continuing to improve their skills. His advice to athletes for a successful season was to “work hard, have fun, seek improvement and get out of your comfort zone.” If that is done, “Win or lose, [teams] are successful.”
Good luck to all the athletes for the 2017-2018 school year!

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