Lex Partnership Benefits High School Athletes and YMCA Sports Participants

A unique partnership between the Orthman Community YMCA and Lexington High School sports teams fosters volunteerism and inspires younger athletes to become the best they can be.

Orthman Community YMCA Sports Director Daniel Holbrook appreciates the help he receives from more than 100 LHS athletes who volunteer their time to teach and coach younger athletes in YMCA youth soccer, cheerleading, boys and girls basketball, and volleyball programs.

“I know that I can place my trust in these coaches to not only teach and instruct kids in ways specific to their sport but also because their values and goals align with the values and goals of the YMCA,” he said.

Holbrook said the biggest benefit to YMCA program participants with this arrangement is that they “see first-hand the result of what it looks like when they apply what they are being taught. And, it goes beyond just the physical because they are also applying best practices mentally and even socially.”

And, on the other side, high school athletes are also benefitting.

Holbrook said high school coaches have told him numerous times that LHS athletes learn and excel even more by teaching the fundamentals of their sport to younger kids.

Zach Jones, LHS boys basketball coach, said it is important for him as a coach to teach his players how they can influence others.

“Volunteering opportunities, like helping with YMCA basketball, show them the positive impact they can have and how the younger kids are watching what they say and do,” Jones said. “Another reason why volunteering is so important for our high school players is that it reminds them that the world doesn’t revolve around them. There have been many people throughout the years who have poured into our players, and this is a chance for them to pass it along.”

Robb Koerting, LHS girls basketball coach, said volunteer work in any capacity is important for student-athletes, but it takes on a bigger meaning when the work is basketball.

“From a program standpoint, it’s important that we continue to build up the skills of the kids that will eventually play for Lexington High School, but it is also a way to build relationships,” Koerting said. “Sports have a way of bringing people together, and we view our work with the YMCA as a way to show the youth of Lexington that we care about them and to help keep the community of Lexington the close-knit family it is.”

Koerting said the girls also have a lot of fun with the YMCA basketball program.

“Varsity basketball is competitive and there is a lot of pressure to win, and rightfully so, but when we’re working with the kids, none of that matters,” he said.

Koerting jumps in with the girls and helps with the YMCA programs as well.

“The girls on my team are all amazing kids, and getting the chance to work alongside them and spend more time with them is something I truly cherish,” he said.

Allie Prososki, LHS volleyball coach, said her players love helping with the YMCA youth volleyball program because it’s a great opportunity for them to give back to the community and share their love for the game with younger kids.

“By coaching them at a young age, they can get the feel for the game, and they can continue to work on the skills that we teach them outside of the program,” Prososki said.” Our girls become role models for the girls who participate in the YMCA volleyball program, and we hope we can encourage the young girls to keep working hard at the sport because it will benefit them once they’re at the high school level.”

Joel Lemus, LHS soccer coach, said his team always looks forward to volunteering time with the YMCA.

“The YMCA in general has brought so much to our community and gives our students something productive to do before or after school,” Lemus said. “Many of our players have reached their level of success due to the time put in by coach volunteers, and now it’s time for us to do the same.”

Holbrook said these partnerships existed before he became Sports Director, and he is glad to continue them.

“Our goal has always been to continue building upon that foundation through communicating and collaboration,” he said. “Both sides have been flexible and open to change because our main focus is the same — to positively impact youth in our community.”


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