New Coaches Start Strong Despite COVID


Shea Pettit

This year is harder than ever to be starting out as a new spring sports coach. Shekinah Henry, Durrell Smith, and Donovan Jackson are all relatively new Westminster sports coaches, and they are trying as hard as possible to keep spring sports going.

These three coaches are constantly having to adjust to what COVID-19 and the health protocols throw at them. Their main priority is keeping everyone safe while maintaining enough physical activity. “It’s a constant adjustment,” says girl’s lacrosse coach Shekinah Henry. “Honestly, it’s more of a mindset shift, because as coaches, you’re constantly planning and trying to have things in control. But being flexible with time, the players, and their concerns, it’s just a shift. It definitely boosts the teamwork amongst the coaches and staff.” This is Henry’s first year coaching sports at Westminster, and she is having to lead in a very challenging environment. 

However, there are many benefits to playing sports after school, especially this year. Donovan Jackson, a Middle School Track and Field coach says, “I’m just excited to be out and involved in practice and trying to get some sense of normalcy in this pandemic.” Jackson believes that getting to exercise and being active can help relieve some of the stress in this confusing time.

Sports have also provided another way to safely spend time with peers and encourage them. “I want everybody to support every other sport going on.” says Middle School Track and Field Coach Durrell Smith. “Everybody has their own struggles; all the coaches are trying to figure out how this whole thing works. I think that among all of this, we need to remember why we’re here and maintain the motivation and excitement to be able to wake up and still have an opportunity to at least try.” Jackson, Smith, and Henry all said that they are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to play spring sports and they think it’s important that the athletes remember to be thankful as well.