Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

In the midst of transition, the Leesville track team is losing another coach. Coach Grether announced his departure from Pride athletics to pursue a new dual coaching and teaching job at Rolesville High.

As a USATF certified Level 1 coach, he specializes with pole vault, distance, and jumping events. Grether will be coaching cross country, wrestling, and spring track for the 2013-2014 season.

He formerly coached cross country at Centerville Middle School in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. He became part of the LRHS community in 2008. He began teaching at Leesville Road Middle in 2007 and became head coach of the team in 2010.

Here is an excerpt from the Leesville Track website:

During his three seasons at Leesville Middle School (2009-2011), he coached two undefeated championship teams, and broke 16 of the 20 school records. In 2011, he coached a Leesville High School High Jumper to a 7th place finish at the State meet and a school record tying jump of 6’4″.

Sarah Bigelow and Tyler Ruff, current juniors, first met Grether when he taught over at the middle school.

“We didn’t really get along at first,” said Ruff, “but, we got to know each other when he became the middle school track coach.”

“He definitely knew what he was talking about. He had a reason to everything, everything!” said Bigelow. “He builds a great relationship with every athlete willing to run.”

“I was definitely happy when he came up to the high school; it was a way for him to have a different experience with us,” she added.

Despite the tough transition, lower turnout, and lagging overall performance of the team; There were many highlights to be proud of.

Two school records were broken, several athletes and relay teams qualified for state championships and new balance nationals, and others have become successful dual student-athletes for college.

“It’s sad that he is leaving so soon, but he’ll definitely build up a great program at the new school.” said Bigelow

Here is Q&A with Grether.

How did you feel about tonight’s banquet. What did you take out from it?

“Tonight was a sign of just what a team we truly are. We brought out the special moments that bonded us together was truly displayed from the coaches side, parents, and athletes.”

Who stood out to you this season? Were there any favorites or track prodigies you observed?

“It’s like asking to pick your favorite kid. There was Lauren White coming back from an injury to place 3rd in the state. Also, both of our girl/boy high jumpers qualified for regionals and state. Joe talbert, a freshman, having a breakout moment, and there was, CAP 8,where Sarah Bigelow dropped 8 seconds.”

Any words of advice to track athletes and student athletes in general?

“Work hard and listen to your coaches to the best of your ability; because, training is not logical and its an element that coaches bring knowing when to work and when to rest. Come and work hard, because if you’re not there you can’t work.”

You have stabilized the team, preventing it from utter destruction. What do you look expect to see as the team transitions to new leadership?

“There’s a good base of young talent that has really bought into the idea of being a track runner so the foundation is there… in the field events, the sprints, and distance for Leesville to become something truly special especially as the young athletes come in from the middle school come in. Find them out, embrace them. The program begins and ends with the athletes, so convince the athletes to come out, and convince them that working hard is worth the shot. Leesville is a sleeping giant; whoever can wake it up and put all the pieces together can make it competitive with the Southeast Raleighs, Knightdales, and Wakefields of the world.”

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