A story on the website of Worthington Christian Schools, Worthington, Ohio, introduces a new coach to the school who is a familiar face. Sam Smith, the new assistant coach for the boys junior varsity team, graduated from the school in 2000 and played on the Warrior’s state championship team. (Worthington Christian High School is a ministry of Grace Polaris Church, a Grace Brethren congregation on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, Mike Yoder, lead pastor). A portion of the story appears below. Click here for the complete article.
Smith Feels at Home in His Return to the Basketball Program
Sam Smith (WCS ‘00) was flooded with memories when he walked into The Hogue gymnasium for his first day as an assistant coach for the Worthington Christian High School boys junior varsity basketball team.
Every banner, every plank of the hardwood took him back to the 1998-99 season when he was a part of the Warriors’ state championship team.
“I honestly felt like I was in high school again. The blueprint of what I was taught as far as basketball goes started here,” Smith said. “When this gym was being built, some of the kids who were on that team and I got to sneak into the construction site and watch as it went up.
“I know this is going to sound funny, but it was sort of magical to walk back in there. You look up into the rafters, and you see all the banners of the district titles and the league championships. That pedigree of winning that took place and still takes place here is something that’s not done by accident. It’s easy to work for people who know what the right thing to do is on a day to day basis.”
Varsity coach Kevin Weakley (WCS ’95) said Smith will work under JV coach Ray Slagle this season and will take over coaching the junior varsity team next season.
“It’s like adding a head coach to our coaching staff,” Weakley said. “I feel so lucky to be able to add a high-level coach, mentor, and friend to our team. He has tremendous knowledge of the game, and he can relate to teenagers. He has challenged me with new ideas and new ways to look at the game.”
For the past 12 years, Smith has worked as an assistant coach. After spending a year as a coach at the middle school level, he spent ten years as an assistant at Olentangy and one season with Olentangy Liberty. At the end of last season, he was approached by Weakley about taking on a similar position with his alma mater.
Smith is reunited with Slagle, who was Smith’s high school coach. Slagle compiled a 194-50 record while coaching the Warriors from 1991-2000. Slagle joined Weakley’s staff last year as the junior varsity coach.
Click here for the complete article.