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SportsCow.comDan's Painting
Monday, September 27, 2004
From A Coach's Perspective
I recently received this article from a coaching friend of mine. I won't tell you if he or she is a current or former coach. It's not important. The message is.

We all understand that parents and fans have a right to express their opinions regarding their favorite teams. Many times its our children or grandchildren that are in the spotlight and we want to see them do well.

When they don't, it's sometimes easier to point the finger at teammates, referees and coaches.

It is important to remember that if the opinions become too personal or the criticism becomes too intense, these individuals may simply give up and walk away from the sports they love.

That may be the desired result. But if too many coaches or officials throw in the towel, there may not be any events for all our kids to participate.

Enough of my thoughts. Here is the email I received earlier this fall:

"First of all, thanks for all the coverage KWAD gives to (area) athletics. I am just going to give you some random thoughts on HS athletics.

Coaches:

Most coaches work very hard and really love what they do. Coaches are like any other person in a leadership position. You have to make decisions and they are not always the popular one. You can never make everyone happy at one time, players, parents, or fans. Being a parent voluteer coach does not make you an expert on anything, especially coaching. Parent coaches are necessary in our time, but they need to understand their role in the big picture.

Parents:

All of them are looking through rose colored glasses. I suppose that's how parents are, but they almost never take into consideration what is best for the team. They are most interested in how a decision directly affects their daughter or son. Most parents have a over inflated view of the actual talent level of their child. Shooting in the driveway against your little sister does not make you a better basketball player. Unfortunately thats what parents see and they equate that with practice and thus playing time. Some parents see their child as a go to college free pass. If you want you child to get a scholarship to college, encourage them to be really smart because athletic scholarships just aren't reality for the vast majority of high school athletes.

Athletes:

Athletes have changed. If they aren't going to start, they may not want to be on the team at all. I don't think kids realize how MANY good players are out there in all sports. The biggest thing they over look is the athletic ability that is God given in most cases. Skills are very important, but colleges recruit players that are ATHLETES first, really skilled at a specific sport second. The biggest question each kid needs to answer honestly for themselves is how good do you want to be and are you willing to work as hard as you will need to get to that point. the next thing they need to do is communicate that answer to their parents so mom and dad understand what is and isn't important to their student athlete.

Your thoughts on this issue and any others involving local or high school sports are welcome. Email your message to kyle@sportscow.com.
Posted By Kyle Gylsen
Monday, September 6, 2004
Coaching Changes Galore
As the 2003-04 school year begins, players and fans will see a lot of new faces on the sidelines this fall and winter.

A number of area schools and teams have had to make coaching changes due to various reasons.

Rick Harig is the new head football coach at Bertha-Hewitt, replacing long-time head coach, offensive coordinator and assistant coach Jim Sutherland. Harig had served as defensive coordinator at Aitkin last season and had previously coached the defenses in Crosby-Ironton and Underwood as well.


At Eagle Valley, Angie Turner will be the new head volleyball coach. Turner had served as an assistant for the Lady Rebels last season.

The Menahga Braves football team will be coached by Earl DeBates this year. DeBates takes the top job after serving as an assistant to John Kostynick. Debates also has previous head coaching experience at Stewartville.

Marion Goeden returns as head coach of the Park Rapids Area volleyball team. Goedeon had coached the B and C sqaud teams the past several seasons.

The new coach of the Pequot Lakes girls' tennis team is Monica Sergent. Sergent was an assistant on the Patriots' staff under Mindi Brill last season.

Patriots' fans will also see the promotion of Chip Lohmiller to head football coach. Lohmiller, the former Gopher and nine-year veteran of the NFL, replaces Tony Mauer after serving as his offensive coordinator the past three seasons.

There will also be a couple of changes at Pillager this fall. Derek Schileve is the new head football coach. Schlieve had served one season as the Huskies' defensive coordinator before replacing Dan Boushee, who resigned after last season.

The Huskies' new boys' and girls'cross country coach is Christy Turtin.

Another individual returning to resume head coaching duties is Kevin Coughlin at Staples-Motley. After working with some of the younger players last year, Coughlin is back for his tenth year as head coach of the Cardinals' girls' tennis team. Sarah (Penfield) Larson who served as one of the co-haed coaches last year, returns as Coughlin's top assistant.

Of course, there may be others as well that SportsCow.com is not aware of. Not all area coaches or ADs responded to our requests for information.

In addition to those area coaching changes, we have also learned that:

James Cortez is the new football coach at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, taking over for Chuck Kavanagh who resigned recently. Cortez had served as a volunteer assistant coach under Kavanagh for the past four seasons.

David Hofland is the new head football coach at Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcorss, replacing his father Neal who has taken a position on the U of M-Morris football staff. David has spent the previous nine years on the CAHN staff with emphasis on the line and special teams.

Angela Haarstad has resigned her positions as assistant volleyball coach and also head girls' basketball coach at Rothsay.

Speaking of winter sports, we have already learned of a number of coaching changes for several area basketball and hockey teams.

Kristy Finck will take over as the new head girls' basketball coach at Bertha-Hewitt this winter. Finck replaces Mike Bauck who resigned to spend more time with his family, including his wife Teri who is expecting.

Jim Bentson will be back as head coach of the Pillager boys' basketball team. Jerry Fornshell coached the Huskies last season while Bentson served with his National Guard unit in Europe.

The Mid-State Conference will look different this winter, following the resignations of boys' coaches Tom VanErp at Wadena-Deer Creek and Bill Dent at Park Rapids Area. VanErp will be replaced by Travis Hensch who coached the Wolverines' ninth grade boys last season. Joe Grimes moves up to take over the Panthers' program.

Park Rapids Area also has a new activities director this year. Girls' basketball coach John Schumacher has added the AD duties, after longtime AD and coach Tom Conzemius resigned to take the activities director job at Sauk Rapids.

Elsewhere this winter:

The Underwood girls’ basketball team will promote assistant Brian Hovland to the head coaching post after Chuck Ross resigned earlier this summer. Ross had coached the Rockets for five seasons.

Todd Lindstrom has resigned as boys’ basketball coach at Browerville. He also served as assistant football coach.

Mike Donaghue, an assistant coach in the Fergus Falls boys' hockey program for the past two seasons, has accepted the job of head coach of the Otters.

Gregg Preston has taken a one year sabbatical from the job of head boys' basketball coach at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls.

Again, I'm sure there are others that we aren't aware of, or have forgotten about. If you know of any other changes, let me know and we'll include them in this or future articles.

And if you want to see more stories about your favorite teams, remind your coaches and ADs to send the information to SportsCow.com.

My email address is href=mailto:kyle@sportscow.com>kyle@sportscow.com

Thanks for your interest and support of SportsCow.com!

Kyle Gylsen
SportsCow.com
Posted By Kyle Gylsen
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