Doubly Dedicated: Teachers Who Coach Sports
BY KYRA BACON
Football, soccer, basketball and tennis are just a few of the sports that take place at CCHS. Despite their immense popularity, many fans don’t realize the true secret behind many teams’ success: the coach. Many CCHS teachers give up their time after school to coach a sport. Doubling as a coach and a teacher is no walk in the park. The pressures to meet academic benchmarks while preparing athletes for an upcoming season are hard to balance on even the strongest pair of shoulders. However, teacher by day, coaches by afternoon; some CCHS teachers have mastered the art of both teaching and coaching a sport.
Linda Snider has been coaching the CCHS swim team for the past two years. As a child, she fell in love with swimming and continued to swim throughout her childhood for the pure enjoyment of it.
During the school day Snider teaches business classes, including Fashion Essentials and Intro to Info Technology. When the assistant swim coach job was offered, Snider immediately accepted the position due to her passion and knowledge of the sport.
“I became the assistant coach of the swim team because there was a lack of coaches and I loved to swim, so I thought I would be a good fit for the team,” Snider said.
Snider also has personal connections with many members of the swim team, including her daughter and many of her daughter’s friends.
“The kids are so great to work with.” Snider said. “Swimming allows them to achieve multiple goals, whether it’s surpassing a record and beating an opponent at a swim meet, or bonding with other students who share a similar passion for swimming.”
The swim team, under Mrs. Snider and Jill Ankney’s (the head coach), won 2nd place in districts last year. Numerous swimmers qualified to compete on a regional level and two qualified for the state level of competition.
Throughout her time coaching the swim team and through all of their great success, Snider has always told her team, “Practice as if you’re in a real game.”
Another teacher that doubles as a coach is Christopher Hinely. Hinely teaches geography until 2:30p.m., then he grabs bats and gloves and heads to the baseball field to meet up with the varsity baseball team.
“Baseball has been a big passion of mine ever since I was a child,” Hinely said. “Playing my whole life, I easily fell in love with the sport.”
Unfortunately, in college, Hinley had a severe injury that prevented him from continuing to play baseball. Wanting to stay involved with the sport, Hinely eagerly accepted the job as the Varsity baseball coach at CCHS.
Hinely has been coaching baseball at CCHS for the past 13 years, 3 of them as the head coach. He loves being around the athletes and watching them play the game. Under Hinely’s coaching, the team made it to states one year and qualified for districts for three years.
“I like to focus on the proper mechanics of baseball,” Hinely said. “My tactics are fairly simple: focus on what you need to do to win, and execute.”
Outside of the classroom, Hinely is not only just a baseball coach. He has established relationships with many of his former players.
“I remain in touch with a few of my former stars,” Hinely said. “Some have actually become coaches themselves.”
Since coaching baseball at CCHS, Hinely’s sense of pride and love for the sport has only grown.
Algebra 2 and Analysis of Functions may not have much of a connection to wrestling, except for Scott Sodergren, who doubles as a math teacher and wrestling coach. With 16 years of coaching and a childhood full of wrestling matches of his own, Sodergren is not new to the sport.
“I starting wrestling in high school and continued through college,” Sodergren said. “I enjoyed the sport when I was younger and I appreciated what it did for me, so when the offer came up, I decided to take it to give back to the sport. Since then, as the coach, I’ve realized how much I love helping young men achieve their goals in wrestling.”
Mr. Sodergren has led the CCHS wrestling team to many victories, including an outstanding six district titles and numerous placements at the state level.
“I like the toughness involved with wrestling, and the ability it has to help mold a boy’s character,” Sodergren said. “I believe that this sport also helps wrestlers overcome adversity, and learn discipline.”
As a coach, Sodergren maintains a system of techniques with an aggressive style.
“I teach my wrestlers to outwork their opponent and wear them down, Sodergren said. “It works every time.”
Sodergren also aspires to keep in touch with his former wrestlers, whether by e-mailing, watching their games or meeting up with them. Like some of Hinely’s former players, a few of Sodergren’s previous wrestlers have also grown to become coaches of their own teams. In fact, Mr. Sodergren’s assistant coach, Scott Schwartz, who is also the wrestling coach at Pioneer Middle School, was coached by Mr. Sodergren.
Snider, Hinely, and Sodergren are just a few CCHS teachers who coach sports on the side. While coaching and teaching are jobs not easily mixed with one another, these teacher-coaches do a great job of balancing the two.
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