The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

Meet the spring sport coaches

Throughout any season, a lot of emphasis is placed on team triumphs led by student athletic excellence. But behind the records and struggles and team triumphs, is the leadership of the dozens of adults committed to leading all levels of sports at ELHS. This month, we asked spring sports coaches what it is about their sport that makes all their time and devotion towards their athletes worth it. 
Junior Varsity girls tennis coach, Steven Wolff, smiles at player during practice on April 10. (Photo by Joelle King)

TENNIS

Cosette Buckberry (Girls Tennis Coach):

 “As a former Trojan, I take great pride in coaching for East Lansing and I am very grateful to have worked with so many exceptional student-student athletes over the past 15 years.”

 

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Steven Wolff (girls JV tennis coach):

“ I love coaching tennis because it is a sport people can play for their whole life.  I have a really nice team this year and everyone has already made improvements in skill and knowledge of the game.”

 

GIRLS SOCCER

Jeff Lyon (girls varsity soccer head coach):

“I think coaching at East Lansing has become a big part of my identity. I started when I was a junior in college here at EL and the players and coaches over the years have helped me become who I am today.”

Julian Birge (girls varsity soccer assistant coach)

“I love the interactions and connections I have with my players. It is really cool to see them grow and improve over the course of their careers. And, seeing their success is an amazing feeling.”

Elise Millard (JV girls soccer coach and assistant varsity coach):

“High school soccer was the highlight of my high school experience. I loved being a part of a team, representing my school and playing for my community every week. I knew when I became a teacher I wanted to be involved in that energy again. I felt I had a lot to offer young females getting involved in sport and wanted to be a source of positivity and growth for our students in another way other than just teaching art.”

Varsity boys lacrosse coach puts his arm around athlete, Mason Briere (12) while coaching him during the game against Grand Ledge on April 11. (Photo by Allison Drzal)

 

BOYS LACROSSE

William Wismer (boys varsity lacrosse head coach)

“I love having the opportunity to pass on what I have learned through the sport to our student athletes. Having the opportunity to “pay-it-forward” is one of the biggest reasons I chose to coach lacrosse.”

 

TRACK AND FIELD

Kathy Hubbard-Gast (Girls track long distance coach)

“Running is a physical sport but it is one of the most mentally challenging sports as well.  It is extremely difficult at the moment yet so rewarding in the end. I’m excited to watch athletes reach goals they didn’t know they could.”

Octavis Long (head boys track and field coach)

“I love coaching Track & Field because it’s both an individual and team sport. The other part about why I love Track & Field is the mentorship that coaching provides to the team.  Coaches are role-models and can positively affect the lives of the kids in many ways.”  

 

SOFTBALL

Samantha Leonard (varsity softball coach)

“I enjoy watching the development of athletes as they go through the program. Coaching keeps me involved in the sport and is a way for me to get others involved and loving a sport I have so much passion for.”

Head girls water polo coach, Brian Fickies adjusts a drill during practice on April 4. (Photo by Nina VanOtteren)

BOYS GOLF

Bob Filter (boys JV golf coach)

“Over the past 20 years, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with so many players, parents, and coaches from all over Michigan.  Golf brings people together and that is why I want more people to learn to love the game.”

GIRLS WATER POLO

Tom Anderson (girls assistant water polo coach)

“The group of athletes I have the pleasure of coaching this year have major potential and I cannot wait to see it play out in the pool.”

Katie Smith (Girls assistant water polo coach)

“You just know when you meet someone who plays polo. I think it’s just hands down one of the coolest sports. Getting to teach kids to appreciate the sport the same way is crazy. That’s not a job, that’s a gift.”

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About the Contributors
Olin Moyer
Olin Moyer, Staff Writer
Olin Moyer is in the class of 2026 and is a staff writer for Portrait.  This is her first year on staff as a sophomore.  Olin's favorite thing about journalism is finding out people's stories.  When she's not in the newsroom, Olin plays water polo, soccer, and swims.
Joelle King
Joelle King, Photography Editor
Joelle King is in the class of 2025 and is a Photography Editor for Portrait.  This is her second year on staff as a junior.  Joelle's favorite thing about journalism is telling stories through video. When she is not in the newsroom, Joelle loves competitive dancing and reading.
Nina VanOtteren
Nina VanOtteren, Photography Editor
Nina is a member of the Class of 2025 and is a Photography Editor for Portrait. This is her second year on staff as a junior. Nina’s favorite thing about journalism is being able to inform others about things going on through different perspectives. When she is not in the newsroom, Nina loves skiing, spending time with friends and playing soccer.

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