Coach of the Year: Woodstock's Scharich at helm of unprecedented year
by Emily Horos
June 21, 2013 01:04 AM | 1901 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kirk Scharich
<Br>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Kirk Scharich
Staff photo by Todd Hull
WOODSTOCK — A region title banner will go up at Woodstock, and for the first time in school history, it will say “Track and Field.”

Coach Kirk Scharich is pretty proud of that achievement, as well as winning the Cherokee County title.

“To do it in (Class) AAAAAA, and in a pretty tough region, was impressive,” Scharich said.

And while Woodstock was not able to get as many athletes through sectionals and on to the state meet as Scharich had planned — following a disqualification on a relay team — Scharich said the season couldn’t have gotten much better.

“Other than that, it was a great year,” he said. “We had plenty of depth. I was a good year. It was a surprise. We won county by quite a bit, then region by probably 20 points. That was the highlight. We just have to keep building on it.”

In addition to the region and county titles, the Lady Wolverines had eight compete in the sectional, including two relays, and two girls to the state meet.

For leading Woodstock to unprecedented success this season, Scharich is the 2013 Cherokee Tribune Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year.

Despite all the success his team achieved this spring, Scharich isn’t resting. He’s already focused on next season.

“Maya (Ramsey) and Liz (Hamilton) are leaving shoes that will be really hard to fill,” Scharich said. “We are certainly going to need more hurdlers with Maya leaving, and we need to work on our field events. That is where some other teams have gained some points on us. We need to work on our throws and high jump.”

Aside from Ramsey and Hamilton, Woodstock will be relatively intact next season. Returning pieces include Arielle Hunter, Hannah Frantz, Kennedy Whiting, Colleen Cromer and Alexandra Melehan.

“We may have to move kids around accordingly, or see who wants to try long jump and line them up,” Scharich said. “You just never know. A lot of people think they are a sprinter, and they aren’t, but they might end up being really good in the 400 or 800.”

Sometimes, Scharich is surprised by a talented athlete who comes out for the team, but often he finds them in physical education classes or in other athletic arenas. He said the greatest thing that is hurting his sport is athletes specializing elsewhere.

“The biggest obstacle is that everybody specializes,” Scharich said. “If you have kids swimming year-round, they don’t want to do track. Soccer, basketball year-round — they don’t want to run track. Most times, those kids aren’t going to the next level in those sports and it’s unfortunate that they don’t give other things, like track, a try.”

In recent years, Woodstock has produced several college-bound track athletes who picked up track as an afterthought. Scharich said that was the case with himself.

“I didn’t know what cross country was until I got to high school, and I was able to win some state championships and get a nice Division I scholarship,” he said. “Back then, I liked basketball and that was my sport — or so I thought. I went out for cross country, just seeing if I could run, and track turned out to be a good sport for me. I tell kids that story all the time. You never know where you will be great until you try.”

Scharich is hoping the success of the Woodstock program in 2013 brings more athlete out in the future. Not only that, but the school’s track has been resurfaced and there are new mats for the pole vault. The stadium’s videoboard is ready to display results.

“It’s definitely helping,” Scharich said. “If we get kids out here, we think we can get them in the right direction, and we need to get the numbers up more than anything.”

Scharich said there were about 50 girls out for the team this season, and he would like closer to 75. Most participants do two or three events.

“When your numbers aren’t quite what they used to be, you have to ask people to do more events,” Scharich said. “That is where you just have to really stress the conditioning.”

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