Volkert named coach of the year

Robert Blackford/Editor

Sherrard girls' track coach Todd Volkert has been named the Coach of the Year for Class A Girls' Track and Field by the (ITCCA) Illinois Track and Field and Cross Country Association.

This is the second time he has been awarded this honor. The first came following the 2007 season.

Volkert has placed in the top nine at state the last four years with a state championship coming in 2006-07. In the 2008-09 school year Sherrard placed seventh in the state.

Volkert will receive the award at the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Clinic on Jan. 9, 2010 at Oak Park River Forest High School.

Volkert received notification of the award Dec. 11.

Volkert has been coaching at Sherrard since 1995 when he came on as an assistant to Joel Bohnsack. He became the head coach in 2001.

"You look back to that first group of really good athletes which included Amy Calderone, who is now the WQAD Sports Director. We tried to get students to imprint our beliefs," said Volkert.

Volkert remembered, "That first year out of college you learn quickly. I attribute a lot to that first group of athletes that learned what we were trying to teach them. I was a horrible coach."

Sherrard has been the only Class A girls' team in the state to finish in the top 10 for the past four years.

"I feel really blessed," said Volkert.

"The 2007 group was an unimaginable group of athletes. We've managed to keep one or two top caliber athletes. Even if you take Ellen Kindelsperger off that team they are still formidable," said Volkert.

Volkert said to win the state title you have to have premier athletes. Sometimes its not a true measure of the top team in the state. "Top caliber athletes will place your team high."

The future looks bright for Sherrard as well. Sarah Boraas and Lacey Hainline return for the Sherrard team this season. "We have two blessed young ladies at the head of the team." Sherrard did lose distance runner Shelbie Pettie, thrower Sam Crumley and Rachel Murray, who led off the team's relays a year ago.

Volkert said he receives a lot of help from third year assistant Corey Cranall and volunteer assistant Bill Baker. "He (Baker) comes out and works with us which is incredibly generous of him," said Volkert. "We've had great coaches and great kids," said Volkert. "Everything positive comes out of that."