|Kim James, Jessica Williams, Lydia Lewis, Cassie Long, and Victoria Kaiserman|
liven up the 9:30 English class.
It's the team spirit of the Lady Royals.
That Lady I Call Mom - by Lydia Lewis
|Ecclesia College softball coach Samantha Juarez|
You know those people in your life that you automatically look up too and you’re not quite sure why? There’s just something about them that makes you know that they care, and for me that’s my coach, Samantha Juarez, also known as ‘Mom’. Since the day that I gave my verbal commitment to play college softball at Ecclesia, she’s been nothing but helpful and supportive. As a team of all freshman, it takes a lot of patience to coach, and she is always patient. She sacrifices her time and gives so much just so not only I, but a team of eleven girls are taken care of. Mom is the type of lady that wants nothing more but to see you succeed and be the best you can be in all that you do. Whether you’re on the field and she’s yelling “Own it 7!”, or we’re goofing off about music and she says “It’s JT, you have to love him” you know that she cares. Something that stands out to me about Coach Sam is that she is humble; she isn’t overbearing or a high and mighty person like some coaches can be, but rather she takes the time to show us exactly what she wants.
|Victoria and Lydia.|
So many times it’s easy to think of a role model as someone who is perfect; who never has problems and simply had a cake walk of a life. We view them as this flawless person that never has to work hard because it comes natural; well for mom, it couldn’t be any different.
Mom grew up in Tucson, Arizona a big city of around 500,000 people. She grew up with one sister, Jordan, who is 5 years younger than her. She is 21 now and is attending the Arizona school of Art and Design where she majors in Photography.
Her parents are MaryAnn and John Juarez who divorced when she was 5 years old. While living with her mom and sister growing up, her mom went back to school to become a nurse. While doing this she held a full time job; needless to say Sam had to help with her little sister.
|Lydia and Cassie.|
Even though her parents were divorced, they maintained a healthy relationship for the sake of Sam and Jordan; but they still hard had to learn how to split time between mom and dad. Just like in any divorce situation, holidays are split; her and her sister always spent Christmas Eve at her dad’s and Christmas at her mom’s. She didn’t come from a rich background; “My dad is a General Manager for a tire store in Tucson called Jack Furrier’s Tire and Care. My mom has goals of becoming the COO (Chief of Operations) of Nursing at a hospital. In June of 2011 she took a job at the Salem Hospital in Oregon to be the Director of Nursing.” Her mom is the picture of hard work.
“The most inspirational person for me is my mom. She worked hard my entire childhood to get to where she is now. To know the sacrifices it took for her to be a full time mom, work a full time job, and get her nursing degree and to be in the position she is now is amazing to me. “
|Victoria, Jessica, Lydia, and Cassie.|
She graduated High school in 2005 from Sahuaro High School, where her graduating class was around 500 kids. “I played basketball and softball all 4 years. I only played basketball because my friends played and it kept me in shape for softball.” She attended college and played softball at Midamerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas where she double majored in Athletic Training and Sports management. “I was recruited to play at other colleges all around the country but my goal was to major in Athletic Training and so I made sure I was able to pick a school that I would be able to do that.”
Her favorite sport to work with in school was football. “It was more exciting to be a part of and there were better injuries.” Sam became interested in Athletic Training when she was in high school due to a sports medicine class that she attended her junior and senior year. Her athletic trainer in high school had Sam and other students shadow her and that’s when she really became interested by the profession. Upon graduating college in 2009, she was hired as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer for Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri in 2010. “I worked on my Masters in Educational Leadership and was working in the Athletic Training room and that year I was able to work with the Men’s soccer team, men’s and women’s basketball, and softball team.”
Mom first played t-ball when she was about six or seven years old, and her softball career started when she was eight years old as a rec league player. At age eleven, Sam was picked to be on the All-star team for the league. “We went to Nationals that year in San Diego, California and we finished 9th out of 100 teams.” The coach for that all-star team started a club team with the same kids called Impulse; Sam went on to play for him until she was eighteen.
Impulse traveled all over the country: California, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Wisconsin, Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma. “His name was Pete Nielson, he was the best coach I ever had.” He has two daughters that played softball for Marshall University.
“College was really busy for me. Being an Athletic training major I had to have 1200 clinical hours completed by the time I graduated. Very hard to do while playing a sport. During fall semester, I was a full time athletic training student and during spring I was all softball. Still during fall I had to do softball workouts with the team. Most my days would start at 5 am. I would have softball weights and conditioning till 7am, go to class from 8-10, work in the training room till 11, go to class till 1, then to back to the training room to get ready for practices for whatever sport I was covering at the time. Since I wouldn’t be able to go to softball practice for the fall I would do individual workouts with my head coach a couple times during the week. On top of all that, I worked at Starbucks to pay for house rent. My favorite memory from college was my senior year we had senior day and my dad flew in for the game. I didn’t hit any homeruns my senior year until senior day. Having my dad there to see it was probably the best thing ever. I signed the ball and gave it to him.”
After it’s all said and done, mom isn’t just a superhero coach; she’s just a young woman living life. She loves to go fishing, being out on the lake, and watching NASCAR on Sunday afternoons. “I’m so busy every day I just want to do things that involve me sitting and not having to do nothing.”
Coach Sam is a chill, fun, yet serious, hard working woman who pushes her team to be the best that they possibly can be. She, like her mom, works hard and expects others to do the same. I really look up to Mom on and off the field, she will never know what she means to me, but the next three years here will be a lot easier knowing I can look up so someone like Coach Sam.
|Victoria and Jessica.|