A Heavenly Smile: In Memory of a Sequoit Parent and Coach

Coach John LaPointe left a legacy on the hearts of many.

He was always there. He was the smile that could be seen from a mile away, a smile so recognizable you couldn’t miss it. He was everyone’s go-to. He was the sense of humor you needed on a bad day. He was, and will be, remembered.

Coach LaPointe started volunteering at Antioch Community High School 12 years ago as an active, involved parent and coach in our athletic program. LaPointe helped with the baseball, track and field and cross country teams. After his daughter, Ashley, graduated ACHS as a member of the varsity track and cross country team, LaPointe got his coaching certificate in order to be able to volunteer coach our teams. LaPointe’s son Casey was an active and dedicated baseball player as well, which was a driving force to LaPointe’s assisting with baseball.

Along with being a dedicated member of the high school athletic community, he was heavily involved in both his kids’ lives. LaPointe was incredibly supportive of both his kids, always attending their important events and being there for them as much as he could. He was a familiar face to everyone who attended the sporting events that his son and daughter were involved in; he was always there.

“He loved everyone like they were his own,” A. LaPointe said.

His daughter describes him as someone who believed deeply in every single athlete he coached. The amount of students he impacted in our community is countless. From giving away his sweatshirts when his athletes were cold, to educating himself on specific injuries, to cracking jokes when he saw an upset athlete, to convincing those who wanted to quit the team to stay; his efforts were immense. Coach LaPointe individually convinced people to believe in themselves, to believe in the sport and to believe that the good always overcomes the bad. The athletes he coached describe him as dedicated, playful and helpful. For anyone and at anytime, he was always there.

“He was one of the most positive coaches I’ve ever had,” senior cross country captain Michael Volkmar said.

Coach LaPointe’s energy radiated through the team. Before races, some runners often get anxious and panicky about the pressure that is put on them, making them think they won’t be able to compete. In cases like this, having a coach to realign athletes’ mindsets is essential for a team. Coach LaPointe was an expert when it came to dealing with having to calm down anxious athletes that lost hope. He would typically calm the runners down by confidently reminding them of their ability, using inspirational words and telling them he believes in their skill. It was actions like this that proved his dedication and attentiveness.

Coach LaPointe’s selflessness and desire to help those around him shone through every person he’s interacted with in his life. Although his time was too short, far too short, his mark is engraved in the lives of those he loved.

With his bright smile forever in the community’s hearts, Coach LaPointe will never be forgotten. He will always be here.