Column by Todd Roehl


I can honestly say that the itch for some sporting events has hit me hard as I feel like I have been in limbo trying to get over my cabin fever for area sports to start up competition.

With the alternative fall sport schedule in play, I am waiting for area sports to start back up and a few teams are already practicing to prepare for their upcoming seasons. 

I will say it is nice for athletes to get a bit of a break to recover and train their bodies for the spring season, but with the season gong into June, the turnover to fall sports will be shorter for kids and coaches which will bring summer training to less time than usual for next years high schoolers. 

I feel the need to take this column’s opportunity to talk about the passing of a local coach, Bruce Stewart.

I had the pleasure and honor to be able to meet and talk coaching with not only a Hall of Fame coach, but a great man. Coach Stewart was a soft spoken man who loved teaching and coaching. As the older brother of Jim Stewart, one of my mentors as a teacher and coach, I had many opportunities to talk about more than just coaching with Bruce.

Coach Stewart has many accolades that he has earned in his years as a coach and teacher. Like many quotes I have read in my life, the one that sticks out the most when thinking about coach Stewart is “a good coach will change a game, a great coach can change a life.”

I can’t imagine the number of athletes coach Stewart has mentored, lead and impacted during his lifetime, but I am sure many of them will say he was not just a great coach, but a better man.

Coach Stewart is a Hall of Fame coach who was at Mount Senario and Ladysmith. Most will remember their outstanding runs in 2001 and 2003. I will remember the soft spoken words he gave when I talked to him about being a leader of young men and women. Coach Stewart took pride in being apart of great teams, coaching young men and women, refereeing, teaching swim lessons as well as a list of activities he took part in with youth athletics.

The world lost a great coach, but most importantly a better human being. Coach Stew leaves behind a family, a community and countless numbers of athletes that he has impacted in a positive way. For me as well as many other coaches who took pride in doing it the right way, like coach Stewart, we lost a good friend and mentor. Anyone who looks into coaching, need not look far on a blue print on how to do it the right way. Al one has to do is look at Bruce Stewart’s legacy and say one simple thing, that’s the kind of coach I want to be!

I look forward to the upcoming spring season that around the bend. As always....... FIND A WAY!

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