Athletics News

S & R Sport Coach Of The Month - October 2013 - Andy Neff - Lakeside HS (GA)

Oct. 28, 2013

The S & R Sport Coach of the Month for October 2013 is Andy Neff of Lakeside High School (GA). For winning Andy receives a $50 gift certificate to S & R Sport. Here is his nomation, submitted by fellow coach AK Mashoon. 

Andy (a former collegiate swimmer) first started playing water polo with at Dynamo Water Polo in August 2009. A week after his first practice we recruited him to play in our annual Powerbar Tournament and he did not disappoint. He had no water polo background but was faster than anyone in the pool (by a lot!). After a couple years of polo under his belt, I decided to recruit him to help me with the high school I was coaching, Lakeside. Last fall was my second year as coach and the first year he came on to help. It was not easy though. We do not work for the schools and we have full time jobs and families. I sweet talked Andy for a month before I finally got him to commit to coming twice per week. The deal was that I would coach the 'A' team and he would coach the 'B' team. We started the year off co-coaching the girls team which he continued to do throughout the season because he was so good with the beginners. Well, after a week or two, Andy wanted the kids to practice more than just twice a week and started instituting 4x per week practices, despite his busy work schedule.

That was just the beginning. He continued to coach the B team and Girls team and the girls came in 2nd of 4 teams at the girls state championships. The most experience any of these girls had was 2 years and they played a great game vs a more experienced team (Collins Hill) who won the championship that year. After the season was over, Andy encouraged all of the kids (girls and boys) to continue to play with the masters club (Dynamo). Many kids took him up on this and interestingly enough, most, if not all, were girls. So when a few of the girls were interested in Junior Olympics, Andy stepped up and said he'd coach them during the spring and go down with them to Florida for the qualifiers. I can tell you, these girls have improved immensely and all the while they are having a great time with their team. Then this year in the fall, the girls had their work cut out for them as they played a more experienced Collins Hill high school team for the state championships. It was back and forth the entire game ultimately ending with a Lakeside Girls win for the state championship. By the way, I wasn't available to coach this season and Andy stepped up and coached the A, B and C coed teams and the Girls team. 4 teams!
Andy has inspired these kids to develop a love water polo and in the process developed into a great water polo coach. He's able to make such a great impact on these kids at such an impressionable age. I'm excited to continue to see the progress for years to come.





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