Boys bowling: Lake Central duo share coach of the year honor
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent March 28, 2013 11:46PM
Updated: May 1, 2013 2:00PM
Will the real head boys bowling coach at Lake Central please stand up?
A casual observer of the Indians’ program over the past three years will know that the team has been guided by the joint efforts of Gregg Schmeid and Rick Young, who collectively never doubted the team’s ability to compete with the state’s best and, ultimately, bring home a state title to St. John.
When the team accomplished that feat in February, defeating Franklin Central, it marked the first title for the boys program — and a more than justifiable reason to name Schmied and Young as Post-Tribune boys coaches of the year.
But the victory also sparked a friendly game of hot potato about which coach should be given more credit for the team’s memorable accomplishment — especially considering the LC boys squeaked into the regional and semistate via the wildcard before finally emerging as a dominant force.
“Rick doesn’t give himself near the credit,” Schmeid said. “You just have no idea. We’ve been coaching together three years and there’s one stat nobody can deny: We’ve reached the final four of the state tournament all three years.
“He and I hit it off pretty darn good. We don’t make all the perfect decisions, but with Rick as a coach, we’re 3-for-3 (going to) state with a championship.”
Young won’t deny the statistical reality, but he graciously defers to the one who he firmly believes is the brains of the coaching staff and more essential to the team’s success.
“Gregg gives me too much credit,” Young retorts. “He’s the Xs and Os guy and he gets the kids lined up. I just pat the kids on the back most of the time. I’ve learned so much from Gregg. He’s a coach who knows a hundred times more than I do. He’s a great guy to work with and I’m so glad I came aboard when I did.”
Schmeid said he’s convinced that Young does much more than offer emotional support.
“Rick knows the game way better than he admits,” Schmeid said. “I’m probably the more animated one with the kids. He deserves a tremendous amount of credit. We’ve truly become a coaching unit together. It’s really a good thing for both of us because we’ve also become such good friends.”
When Young decided to come aboard, Schmeid had already been coaching the program for six years and was heavily considering stepping down after a very solid squad failed to advance past regional four years ago.
“The first practice I ever went to with Gregg, he turns to me and said, ‘Before we’re through, I want to win a state championship’ and he was serious,” Young said. “No pressure, right?”
When this season’s team was in its most venerable place — overwhelmed by the expectations it placed on itself — Schmeid said making the practices light loosened the team up and allowed it to return to the form that it showed at the beginning of the season.
“We didn’t practice too much past an hour in those last two weeks,” Schmeid said. “We talked, had fun and just relaxed. We knew this group could repeat shots and that’s what came back out at semistate and state, and Rick said we needed to cut out the constant huddles, which only added to the pressure.”
In the end, though, Young said the players’ ability to make the adjustments the coaches offered made all the difference.
“We changed some things we were doing during the matches, but the kids’ attitude made all the difference,” Young said. “We asked them to do some things differently and they changed.”