Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recalling Sacred Heart’s coaches

August 27, 2008

The backbone of any youth program is obtaining volunteer help, such as coaches for sports teams.

In my 40-year tenure as athletic director of Sacred Heart School in Bonner Springs getting coaches for our boys and girls teams really didn't cause a big problem. Recently, I sat down and tried to think of the coaches we had over the years in all boys and girls sports in the Catholic Youth Organization. I know it was impossible to recall all the coaches during that period, but I would like to elaborate on some I could remember.

One of the coaches in the early years was Bob Stephan, who led the seventh- and eighth-grade girls basketball. The girls played girls rules at that time, and Bob coached 10 years with winning seasons. Bob was also chairman of the athletic committee that started the Brown Bottle Dinner and Auction that is currently the main fundraiser at the new Sacred Heart Church in Johnson County.

Another coach in those early years was Dick Burns, who coached girls basketball and fifth- and sixth-grade boys basketball. We also had success with a family staff of coaches from the Joe Bicnick family that included Joe, Joanne, Brett, Michael, and Susan.

Joanne and Tricia Mitchell both coached boys volleyball.

It was gratifying having former students and athletes at Sacred Heart come back to coach in the CYO program. These included Kristi Finley, Bill Kelly, Susan Bicknick and Patty O'Brian. Kristi and Bill were named Athletes of the Year at Bonner Springs High School in 1986, and Patty O'Brian was Athlete of the Year in 1982. Kristi eventually became varsity volleyball coach at the high school.

Another tenured coach whocoached about 15 years was Donna Kelly, my girl Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We had a hard time getting Donna started, but once she found out how much fun it was she hung in for several years.

Sacred Heart pastor the Rev. John Yadrich coached the fifth- and sixth-grade boys football team, and also assisting with the football program were EO Gene Reynolds and Albert Stulick.

Ray Reynolds got into the act, coaching seventh- and eighth-grade girls with a 1-0 record that included the win that kept a 57-game winning streak alive.

One of the more experienced coaches we had was Randy Shoaf in girls basketball.

Several non-Catholics who coached included John Harrington, Mark Mossier and Bill Beall. Kay Cox coached girls track.

Another former grad coming back was Teresa Schumann, who coached volleyball. Teresa is currently chairman of the Sacred Heart Athletic Committee that has done an outstanding job at the new school. Teresa has also taken over organizing the successful Brown Bottle since moving to the new school.

The list goes on and I realize I probably missed several, but I would like to include some I did remember: Scott Hock, Gill Hoag, Ed Seaton, Tim McGinnis, Leslie Lowe, Kelly O'Malley, Steve Farnsworth, Larry Cohan, Don McKay, Mike Mellott, David Beck, John Bright and Mitch Whisman, who was the only coach in track to every provide all of his girl runners with track shoes.

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