Springers’ season fails to get off the ground | PostIndependent.com

Springers’ season fails to get off the ground

The Glenwood Springers are grounded this summer. Hopefully, it’s just for this one summer. Blake Risner stepped down as head coach in January after leading the summer youth track and field program for 10 years.A replacement has not been found, and the board of directors was forced to put the nonprofit program on hiatus for a summer.Risner finished out last summer with six Springers qualifying for the U.S. Junior Olympics, including four who earned All-American status as part of the 4×800-meter relay team. At least a dozen Springers also went on to compete at the college level during his tenure.A number of high school state champions and state record holders developed as part of the Springers program.Filling Risner’s shoes will be a difficult task, but someone must step up.The ribbons and accolades for individual athletes are just a small part of the importance of the Springers program. The athletes, who range in age from 8-18, are given a summer activity that encompasses all that is good in youth athletics. The program welcomes everyone to a low-pressure, fun and healthy environment, and exposes children to what could become a lifelong sport. In an age when many children seem to spend as much time thumbing sports on Xbox or PlayStation as they do participating on the fields of play, programs like the Springers are even more essential. Plus, that old adage about “idle hands” – the same is true for idle feet.Springers board of directors member Mike Kishimoto, one of many community members who have given countless hours to youth programs, lamented: “I just had no idea it would be this hard to find a coach.”Coaching is not an easy job, but it is also one of the most rewarding.The success of club sports depends on adults getting involved. It’s a tremendous commitment, and Risner should be commended for his decade worth of dedication.Now it’s time for someone else to grab the baton and keep this fine program going.It would be a shame to see the Springers fade away.

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