The Private Schools Athletic League held their Winter Post-Season Sports Meetings, where all of the coaches from the league meet to vote on 1st Team All-League, 2nd Team All-League, League MVP, and PSAL Honor Coach. The PSAL Honor Coach award is given to one coach per sport that shows a maintenance of professional standards and conduct, service to their sport, outstanding coaching accomplishment, and is a role model for athletes, coaches, fellow teachers, administrators, parents, and the public. A coach must be nominated by a fellow coach, athletic director or administrator, and then voted on by the coaches of their league. This year, Girls Basketball Coach Christine Dela Rosa and Boys Soccer Coach Ryan McCormack were recognized as the PSAL Honor Coach for their league. This marks the second time that both coaches have won the award.
We asked for a few of their reflections below:
Why did you want to become a coach?
CD – “I wanted to coach basketball because I really love basketball and I know what it did for me growing up being so dedicated and loving something as much as I did basketball. It really honed my discipline and showed me what it meant to work hard with a team and it pushed me mentally as well as physically. I coach because I think if I could aid in someway with a student-athlete recognizing these things, then I I would have even more fulfilled what it means to be an educator.”
RM – “Coaching really combines my two passions: sports and teaching. I know what my coaches did for me in terms of instilling habits and mindsets that helped me be successful in other aspects of my life, and I hope to pay it forward by doing the same for the student-athletes that come through my program.”
What is your favorite part about coaching at KSJC?
CD – “I was in a very demanding, high stakes program when I was growing up and because there was this pressure to win and be the best all the time, I learned discipline in my sport but I lost a lot of the love I had for it. Coaching at KSJC with these girls has renewed that love by showing me the joy in playing especially when you take out all the distractors and I’ve even started to play on my own again. My favorite part is that I get to be surrounded by the coolest girls on the planet! They make me laugh, ground me back to my youth, and reconnect me to the sport I have always loved.”
RM – “I’d have to say working with the group of guys that I have on the soccer team and the challenge of it. First, the group of young men I’ve been able to work with are great people. I really enjoy going out to practice and getting everyone together again. It really is like a second family, because we see each other for so much of the day. It’s also nice to see the guys outside of a class setting, where I have taught most of them. In addition, I love the challenge of being a small school with limited resources and taking on the traditional powerhouses. It’s awesome being able to show the guys that with hard work, we can compete with anyone.”
Why do you think your team had a successful season?
CD – “My team had a successful season because they trusted and looked out for each other. It never was about one person and even girls that weren’t able to play knew what that meant. I often forgot what our record was and never knew the final score of the game and not because I didn’t care but because that’s not important to me. It will never be about winning or losing. I am one of the most competitive people you’ll ever meet when it comes to games and sports but not for the sake of winning. I am competitive and push my girls for the sake of giving it everything you have and having fun. I think we learned that after the preseason–once we stopped measuring success by our wins and losses and instead measured it through our hard work and improvement, we were able to go further than any of us thought.”
RM – “Our success came from the fact that we were adaptable. We didn’t get to play the same line up every day due to injuries or other personal reasons. Therefore, everyone had to be ready that they might get thrown into a different position at any given moment. We even switched our entire formation during the final at half time to one we had not played in two years, just because the other team forced us out of our comfort zone. The guys, every time, have handled it beautifully, and trusted each other to get it done. I also think it’s not just one year. Things that helped us this year were instilled in our seniors 4 years ago when they started with the team. It’s a process.”
What was your favorite memory from this season?
CD – “There are many! If I had to pick though, I would have to say when Jenny Pham scored her first basket. Jenny is one of the the most unassuming, sweetest, and hardest working girls on the team. She is more reserved than most people but her presence is so vibrant. She was a beginner in basketball and even though she didn’t get to play the most minutes, she was ready to come off the bench every time. One game, the ball rolled to her accidentally but almost as if it was fate. Jenny picked it up and shot it towards the basket right before the defense got to her. It’s not like we were in dire need of the points or it was significant in any way in turning the game around because there was little time left and we had a big lead. But once the ball went through the hoop, you’d think that she just made the game winning shot as the bench erupted and everyone screamed to celebrate Jenny. She managed out a little smile but we all knew in that moment what it meant to her and every girl on our team. That little snapshot of that game will always be a memory I will remember and it was a testament of the love each girl had for their teammates.”
RM – “Probably the final. Even though we lost, that was the craziest game I had been a part of. However, everything from the second half on was everything I had ever asked of those guys and more. I can’t say enough about the effort they put in to that second half and 2OT. And to watch those guys celebrate with our Freshman sensation Cristo Rafael after he slammed home that volley with 30 seconds left, I think those are the moments that make you stand back, remember, and hold on to when you get yourself ready to come to practice everyday.”