Coaches crack down on rules

By Rachel Myers, staff writer

Jayden Gregory. Photo Editor
Timothy Starks, Newman bowler, takes a break from work to focus on his studies.

Newman’s coaches are enforcing stricter rules this year, such as curfews, study halls and demerit systems in or­der to prevent discipline problems from happening.

The new softball coach, Megan Whit­lock, said her expectations for her play­ers are set high this year. Whitlock said she wants her players to exhibit respon­sibility and discipline on and off the field by setting curfew hours on nights before games and practices, having players attend study hall and perform­ing grade checks every three weeks.

Whitlock said she would have no problem checking in on her players if she thought they were not obeying the curfew rules.

“The only night they can really go out is Saturday night if rules are being fol­lowed,” Whitlock said.

Whitlock said this is a whole new dis­cipline plan from last year. She said that there had been discipline problems in the past.

“I want to not only coach them on the field but also prep them for life outside of college,” Whitlock said.

She is not the only coach promoting tougher discipline for student athletes.

Cheer and Dance Coach Tess Rohled­er set up a demerit system for her team. In addition to having the cheer team practice at 5:15 a.m. most weekdays, an unexcused tardy or absence constitutes one demerit. Other reasons for demerits are any inappropriate conduct inside or outside of practice that reflect the team poorly. After three demerits the athlete is asked to leave the team. Rohleder en­forces these rules to not only better her athletes but to help them become more responsible people, she said.

The new women’s basketball coach, Darin Spence, wanted to start the year off with his form of discipline.

“My biggest rule is to always do the right thing, especially if the player knows it will reflect the school negative­ly,” Spence said.

Spence said players come from dif­ferent backgrounds and age groups so he wants to unite them and strengthen the team’s chemistry level first. Spence said he wants the players to develop good relationships with their teachers.

“If a player misses a class, she will run for every minute she misses,” Spen­ce said.

If a player continues to misbehave, then it is better to remove her than for it to influence the team as a whole, he said.

Spence said he views his team mem­bers as “People first, students second and then player.”

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