Character Coaches Come to Urbana

Maria Carberry

The Urbana High School boys and girls Cross Country teams have two new coaches this year. These aren’t the typical type of coaches, they are called Character coaches. The Character coaches are here at Urbana to help the athletes grow in character and to remind them that there is more to a sport than just doing well. Each week the character coaches talk to the athletes for about ten to fifteen minutes.

The athletes get an option of having the talks Biblically based or non- Biblically based, but regardless, the talks are optional for the athletes to attend.

One of the boys’ Cross Country team captains, Junior, Julian Bandini said, “They help motivate you and keep your head on your shoulders. They inspire you to do your best.”

Junior, Garrett Santis said, “I think they’re pretty cool, it makes the sport bigger than just you.”

Junior, Rainie Madsen, a member of the girls Cross Country team, enjoys having a Character coach. “I love having a Character coach, because she’s so nice and friendly.

It’s just nice knowing she’s there because I know I always have someone to talk to if I needed too

— Rainie Madsen

she said. Madsen enjoys the Biblical aspect of the talks. “I like having access to it because I don’t go to church and it brings our team together,” she said.

Junior, Kara O’Neill likes the talks because they are not stressful. She said, “I like having a character coach. It’s nice to talk about Cross Country and God, which I love so much.”

Junior, Diana Narvaez, wouldn’t change anything about the Character talks. “I like it. I enjoy the meetings; they are very relaxing,” she said.

The girls’ Character coach, Katie Gole, said, “I am here for your emotional and spiritual need. FCA has three parts- the physical level, the spiritual level, and the emotional level.” This is Katie’s first time as a Character coach and she is experimenting with her future. “I wanted to see what my real calling may be, and you guys are so accepting and fun. It’s cool to be a part of it,” she said.

The Character coach, on the boys Cross Country team, coach  Chris Bishop, said, “I help with the mental aspect of sports and athletics, as well as integrity. I work on issues that don’t just apply to running and try to get rid of stuff that doesn’t help accomplish goals.”

Coach Bishop said this is his first time being a Character coach (just like Katie), and he became one through FCA. “When I was in High School I had a good experience with a Character coach, because other coaches didn’t have the time to work on the mental aspects of character,” he said.