For a coach to reach 100 wins, it requires many things. The coach has to have the knowledge and pedagogical fluency necessary to implement a sound training program. He or she also has to have the savvy to communicate effectively the objectives, goals, and expectations
The talent has to be walking the hallways. More than that, the talent needs to be identified and successfully recruited; this takes a great eye and some charisma. The planning becomes an arduous task. Many storms have to be weathered. Incredible patience and persistence have to be displayed.
There aren’t too many local high school coaches that have all of those elements in place.
Kingsway High School has been fortunate to have coaches such as current football/softball coach, Tony Barchuk, current girls basketball coach, Karyn Pickard, former girls cross country/track and field coach, Milt Fredericks, or former wrestling coach, Jesse Castro among others, who have shown the way in terms of how to accomplish this feat.
Well, this season, Kingsway has been fortunate enough to have not one, but two coaches enter this prestigious fraternity/sorority. Field hockey Coach Lewis and girls soccer Coach Kodluk have joined the 100 wins club this season.
Kodluk currently has the girls program among the best girls soccer teams in South Jersey, with a 10-2-1 record at present. They recently were invited to their second ever South Jersey Coaches Tournament, which features the top 16 teams in South Jersey. With a win against Williamstown on Oct. 28 they can clinch a share of their second consecutive Royal division title.
With a bevy of recent success (and with a chorus line of former players in the collegiate ranks), it is no wonder that he has attained the 100 win accomplishment. However, he remains humble and deflects the attention to his girls.
“While I was proud, it was something I wanted to downplay,” said Kodluk. “I wanted the focus to be on the girls. It’s about them, not me. I sit on the sidelines. However, once I got a call from Ashley (his daughter who also played for him) saying that it was on the marquee in front of the school, I knew I was in for it from the gals.”
Lewis also tried to downplay her accomplishment. The engineer of a program that is a perennial South Jersey field hockey powerhouse, she constantly is reinventing success with her teams. While the players change, the results stay the same. She has a proven formula for winning.
However, the last thing that she wanted was individual attention for something that she sees as a program accolade.
“Getting my 100th win was a nice accomplishment, although it would not have been possible without the hard work of my girls. They’re the ones who have gotten us to this number. The credit should go to the girls- past and present. They’ve been quite successful, and 100 wins is a testament to them.”
Her current assistant (and former Kingsway field hockey star) Dana Ramsden echoed the tentativeness that Lewis felt in earning her 100th win.
“She didn’t even tell me,” said Ramsden. “I saw our trainer attempt to dump Gatorade on Coach (by the way, she ducked that “acknowledgement”, too). That’s when I asked what was going on. She is driven to work towards bigger things than her personal win-loss record. It’s an indicator of the program’s success- not hers.”
While both Lewis and Kodluk remain humble about their marks, it is hard to discount the commitment and tenacity that they have shown in steering two great Kingsway institutions to great heights. That big 100 is simply validation that their hard work is not in vain. Congratulations to two fine Dragon leaders.