The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

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Once a Sequoit, always a Sequoit

A select number of Antioch Community High School coaches attended Antioch as students and later returned to coach the sport that they once played.

Getting involved throughout high school, whether that be clubs, sports or volunteering, is one of the easiest ways to meet new people and find new interests. As the seasons come and go, four years quickly expire and many athletes realize that they took each moment for granted. However, with such deep connections to the sport, a number of athletes who attended ACHS have later returned to coach the sport that they once played. 

English teacher and Tom Tom adviser, Madelynn Soberano, attended ACHS from 2012-2016. Soberano decided to step out of her comfort zone and play field hockey. After a short four years, Soberano found herself at Illinois State University to pursue her dreams of becoming a teacher. After a job opportunity opened up at ACHS, Soberano found herself back in the same halls that she once walked through. This time, she began coaching field hockey alongside her teaching.

“I think the special thing with field hockey is that it is a team of athletes from all different sports, who accidentally kind of fell into the sport but end up loving it,” Soberano said. “We all mutually play the sport together, which [is] really fun. I think the wonderful chaos and vibes of field hockey stay the same forever.”

Similar to Soberano, ACHS math teacher and cross country coach, Ryan Hlinak, attended Antioch from 1996-2000. Participating in both Sequoit wrestling and cross country, Hlinak knew that he wanted to find a teaching job here in Lake County. After attending college at the University of Chicago, Hlinak found his way back, now coaching cross country and teaching numerous math classes.

“I think the biggest thing [when coaching] is taking the emphasis off winning and losing and just about going out there, having fun and enjoying yourself and working hard,” Hlinak said.

For some, the return to Antioch took some time depending on job openings and other criteria. However, for Maggie Quirke, returning to ACHS took less than a year. After graduating from ACHS in 2021, Quirke was asked to return as a coach for the varsity dance team.

“My younger sister, Josie Quirke, is on the dance team currently,” Quirke said. “When she was a freshman I would go to all her competitions. I still talked to coach Taylor, she was my coach too, and at conference in 2021 she asked me to join the coaching staff.”

Being a young coach offers an advantage to the current dancers. Quirke knows that she has the ability to increase the drive in each athlete and that they are capable of achieving their main goal: making it to day two of the IHSA State Finals.

“As a coach, I try to be hard on the girls while still letting them know I care for them,” Quirke said. “I think this is the best way to go about coaching. Pushing each and every one of the girls to [their] full ability can be difficult, so I try to make sure they know it comes from a place of passion. I want to grow the love they have for dance and make sure they show it every time them perform.”

Athletes at ACHS have been able to learn from the knowledge of their coaches as they continue the legacy of their sport. These coaches are what make the statement a reality: once a Sequoit, always a Sequoit.

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About the Contributor
Laila Salata, Tom Tom Staff
Laila Salata is a senior and this is her second year on staff. Salata plays field hockey and does cheerleading for ACHS. In her free time, Salata enjoys taking pictures, spending too much money on Starbucks, and being with friends and family. Bonus fact, she is also Miss Antioch 2023.  
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