Meet the new “Jett-setting” softball coach

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Courtesy of Brian Kessler

Junior varsity baseball coach Andrew Jett swings his arms while coaching third base telling senior Jason Reilly to run to home plate. Jett feels at home when coaching baseball. “ I hope that in 10 years I meant so much to them that they invite me to their weddings,” Jett said.

It is safe to say that Math teacher Andrew Jett will be coaching the varsity softball in the 2020 season. Social Studies teacher Jeff Chazen has coached the softball team for 11 years and recently stepped down.

I was very shocked when Chazen resigned, our season had more ups and downs than usual but our postseason ended better than we expected, so it ended on a happy note,” junior and varsity player Megan Leahy said. 

The players are sad to see Chazen leave but are happy to see him doing what is best for him. Chazen recently stepped down from the role so he can prioritize his family.

“While I’m sad to see Chazen leave, I’m also excited to have a new coach. It’s always interesting to have new coaches and get new ideas and ways to improve,” freshman and varsity player Jyllian Poelker said.

It’s always interesting to have new coaches and get new ideas and ways to improve”

— freshman Jyllian Poelker

Jett heard of the position opening through word of mouth shortly after Chazen decided to resign from coaching.

I have always enjoyed playing and watching baseball and softball. My whole life has revolved around sports and being the head baseball coach gives me another avenue to help build young athletes,” Jett said.

Jett believes that his father inspired him to become a coach since his father was also a baseball coach.

“I was always going to his games and practices as a kid. I loved being around the older athletes,” Jett said. “My father did a great job of balancing passion for the sport and caring for his players.  To this day, the most important part of my job as a coach is to build relationships and help grow our athletes into young adults!”

Jett believes the fact that he played college baseball gives him a high level of experience, which will allow him to best coach the program.

“I’m excited to have a new coach, new input and be able to watch the team Chazen helped build go even further,” Poelker said. “I hope that we’ll be able to improve our overall ability to work together as a team, especially after losing seniors who were key parts of the team.”

While new coaching can always be a challenge, six players of 19 current players are graduating this spring which many believe will be a challenge for the team.

The team is changing every year, the dynamic is constantly changing, so I expect it next year. It may be difficult at first, getting to know Coach Jett and how he runs a team, but also him getting to know us and how we play and how the other coaches run things,” Poelker said. “But after talking to Coach Jett in the halls I think he’ll be really open to communicating and will work with us to improve the team together.” 

The team hopes to continue traditions that build camaraderie and memories. Every year at the softball team’s sleepover, the team brings a pack of toilet paper each so they can TP the coach’s house and then clean it up in the morning. 

“As a senior next year, I will ensure our new coach gets a warm teepeeing welcome to the team.  It’s such an important tradition and it needs to be continued and so I’ll be sort of passing it down to the younger girls on the team and showing them how to do it well so that when I leave it continues,” Leahy said. “It’s important that it continues despite getting a new coach, also the coaches never know the night we do it so it’s always a surprise when they wake up and see it so I’m excited to see how he reacts.”

I want to make sure I am giving my best to the girls. I ask for their best efforts, so I expect the same of myself,”

— Head coach Andrew Jett

Jett is excited to get the girls together and start a fun, win-filled season. Jett is already setting goals for himself six months in advance of the start of the 2020 season.

“Of course everyone wants to win and be successful. For me, I want to make sure I am giving my best to the girls. I ask for their best efforts, so I expect the same of myself,” Jett said. “The thing that makes me the most nervous is the wait. I am someone who wants to just get out there and get going. I drive myself crazy thinking about what I will do. We will take care of business and be known for hard-work.”