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Freeman named WSL coach of the year

With breaths abbreviated, fingers crossed and tallies marked, the final moment arrived. Who would take home the coveted award?

Campus tennis coach, George Freeman, was voted as the Co-coach of the Year for the West Sierra League [WSL] on Oct. 20.

“All the coaches in the West Sierra League got together and we voted on who we thought should be the coach of the year,” Freeman said. “I ended up tying with the coach from Firebaugh, so we are sharing the award.”

Unlike with other awards, nomination is not a requirement for the WSL coach award.

“Every year at the league tournament meeting, the coaches all sit down and vote for who they think should be the coach of the year,” Freeman said. “Coaches are not nominated; everyone just votes based on the overall performance of each school’s teams.”

Rather than basing votes on whether a team wins or not, the award’s primary factors are the performance of a team and the coach’s association with fellow coaches and players.

“Often the team’s performance reflects on the coach,” Freeman said. “Also a coach’s interaction with the other coaches comes into play.”

Freeman also received the award for the school year 2003-2004. The coaches have awarded the honor now for four years, the first being given in 2000.

The WSL coaches are not the only ones that deem Freeman worthy of the award.

“I like how hard he [Freeman] pushes us during practices and matches,” Ashley Sherr, ’06, said. “He never puts us down for anything. He’s really demanding and expects a lot from us, but he’s also very positive about it.”

Sherr, ranked No. 1 on the campus team and No. 10 in the Valley, not only praises her coach’s determination, but also his involvement in the players’ lives.

“Mr. Freeman makes us laugh a lot,” Sherr said. “He likes to recite lines from the movie, Napoleon Dynamite, which is cool. He is interested in our personal lives and tries to get us to talk about boyfriends and things like that. Really, he is more than a coach to us; he’s like a father-figure and a friend.”

Freeman’s time and energy on the court seems to be the factor he personally values.

“I was not all that surprised that I won this year’s voting for the award,” Freeman said. “The girls have done very well this year in their matches. I have coached here on campus for 22 years and my girls have not lost a league match since 1997. I also have a great ambition for the sport of tennis.”

Though the team’s dominance may be held in contempt by other schools, their efforts seem to have won over the panel of coaches.

“The overall record of a team’s performance is the main factor that is considered in voting for the award,” Freeman said. “This proved very helpful in my winning this year. Usually a good team means a good coach. The team’s WSL record is also taken into consideration.”

Despite his own energy spent on his teams, Freeman credits his achievements to the girls’ efforts on the court.

“I owe all my success in winning to my girls,” Freeman said. “Their hard work and effort on the tennis courts is amazing.”

For more information on the tennis team’s upcoming games, go online to the “sports briefs” section or announcements section of this paper.

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