CHANGE – LEARNING – FAREWELL – GOOD – IT’S ALL GOOD… IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE!
Life is about change (or some would say growth)… we all continuously change and life as we know it changes around us constantly…and we learn…..therefore change must be GOOD. Right?!?
During my journey in this life of learning thus far, I have been blessed with great educators, instructors, leaders, and coaches – GOOD and bad…blessed because I have learned tremendously from both GOOD and bad. My life experiences have helped me to learn how to walk in other’s shoes and I ‘try’ to do this as much as I can to gain ‘their’ perspective. It is very easy when you actually ‘walk the walk’ to gain this perspective and just a tiny little more difficult when you have to ‘imagine’ another person’s journey.
In 2014, a short 4.5 years ago, East Ridge High School blessed me with the opportunity to coach the Girl’s lacrosse team and thus began the ‘New ERA’ of Lady Knights Lacrosse. During this time, I have had 3 different Assistant Coaches, 4 Athletic Trainers, 3 Athletic Directors, 3 Asst Principals of Athletics, and yearly changes in the processes involved to get through a season – change is GOOD (all moved on to better life learning opportunities).
After one Fall Championship, one Fall Runner-up, three consecutive District Runner-ups (ALL firsts in the 14 year history of East Ridge Girls Lacrosse), countless relationships, friendships earned, life lessons taught, life lessons learned, and a culture of excellence solidly instilled, the time has come for a change. I must step away from my post as the Head Coach of the Lady Knights Lacrosse TEAM and retire my coaching whistle. I depart knowing that the TEAM has a solid foundation, a transition plan is in place, continuity is ensured, and that the new Leadership Team is ready to take the TEAM to the next level. The ‘New ERA’ has ended and with my upmost confidence placed in my successors, the ‘Championship ERA’ has begun.
Every individual Lady Knight, every Vital Link, and every TEAM that I have had the opportunity to serve has been very special to me and has helped me to learn invaluable personal lessons – for that I am very grateful and I Thank You!
This little ‘blip’ in time has allowed me to briefly ‘walk’ in the shoes of our amazing, dedicated, underpaid, underappreciated, unheralded professional educators here at East Ridge High School. They say it takes a village to raise our children. This is so true but many of us fail to realize that the village leaders for 13+ years of the most formative times of our children’s lives are the educators of this world. I have gained a small insiders’ perspective of the challenges and joys that they face on a daily basis and they have truly earned my profound respect, appreciation, and admiration – to you ALL – I Thank You!
Thank you to the staff of East Ridge High School that supported & still continues to support the Lady Knights Lacrosse TEAM: Principal Robinson-Lueallen, Asst Principal Feld, Bookkeeper Mrs. Pedersen, Front Office Mrs. Poe, Behind-the-Scenes Mrs. Arizpe. This dynamic leadership TEAM makes the whole school run with very little fanfare!
Thank you to Athletic Director Everett, Asst Athletic Director Ensor, and Athletic Trainer Sombelon. This incredible Athletic Leadership TEAM provides 1000s of our student-athletes an invaluable opportunity of High School Sports! They have spent countless hours above and beyond their call of duty to care for our student-athletes. I can’t say enough about these professionals and the amount of help that they have been to the success of the Lady Knights Lacrosse TEAM and all the other Teams at ERHS.
Thank you to Asst Coach Stalma, Asst Coach Rodriguez, and Asst Coach Martin. You helped me keep my sanity and kept me grounded. What can I really say? You are the ‘glue’ that kept the TEAMs together and kept them coming back – I’d like to think that it was my rugged good looks and charming way that I yelled at them – but most likely not – I’m so glad these camera phones didn’t exist when I was growing up! Without you, there would not be a Lady Knights Lacrosse TEAM as we know it today.
Thank you to the ERHS Boy’s Lacrosse Coach Mr. Zielonka – a Firefighter (another profession that we are/should be All grateful for) who gives of his ‘free’ time for the betterment of the boy’s lacrosse team. Your help was instrumental in helping build the ‘New ERA’ Lady Knights Lacrosse TEAM! I’m sure you will be helpful to these new oncoming coaches as you were to me.
Thank you to ALL the other Coaches, Club Organizers, Staff, Teachers! You All have done the village well and please know that you are ALL appreciated.
As we move forward to the holidays & you look for tax deductions, please consider giving of your time and/or donating to your sports team, club activity, teacher, or the school itself.
We always strive for kindness and empathy in our lives – the easiest way to achieve this is to walk in someone else’s shoes – it truly is a matter of perspective. Instead of taking that selfie and focusing on ME, change the perspective, ‘Flip’ the phone and see the beauty that surrounds you. The next time that you are at your child’s sporting event; watching all of its imperfections from the players, to the coaches, to the officials, to your own fans, and to the opponent’s fans – it is truly a reflection of our life’s journey and its imperfections. Having had the fortune to walk in those shoes during those moments, I would like for those of you that haven’t gotten the chance, to please take a moment to imagine and always remember that Win or Lose – We LEARNED and that…..my friends allows you the perspective of…. It’s ALL GOOD!
Lady Knights – The names will Change but Traditions will live on! I will no longer be by your side on the field but I will be your #1 Fan and supporter in the stands! Always be a VITAL LINK and CARPE DIEM! Remember to always WORK HARD SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORK HARDER!
Jung ‘PAKMAN’ Pak
EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL
LADY KNIGHTS LACROSSE
HEAD COACH……….departing (‘whistling’)
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