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Aleshire at home as a coach

June 15, 2009|By JANET HEIM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- If it involves a ball, a field or a track, Richard "Rick" Aleshire probably has tried it and liked it.

After his own playing days were over, the 1969 Clear Spring High School graduate took to the field as a coach.

For his coaching efforts with North Hagerstown High School's girls soccer team, Aleshire recently was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America 2008 State Girls Coach of the Year for Maryland Small Schools.

The winners are selected by coaches in the national organization. When Aleshire attended the state banquet in the fall, he knew he was in the running for the national honor, but never expected to receive it.

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"I keep telling my wife I still don't believe it. It is quite an honor. It's your peers," Aleshire said.

Aleshire, 58, said he couldn't have received the recognition without the support of the North High administration and his coaching staff, as well as the students at the school who cheer on their teams.

The other component is the "super, super girls and great parents," Aleshire said.

"I'm just one of the spokes turning the big wheel," he said.

Aleshire has worked the night shift as a supervisor at the Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream plant for nine years, freeing up his days for coaching. He also coaches two of his youngest son's teams -- the U15 boys team at the Hagerstown Soccer Club and baseball at Conococheague Senior League -- as well as a U14 girls team.

A typical schedule for Aleshire is baseball on Monday and Wednesday nights, and soccer on Tuesday and Thursday. Fridays are open for makeup games and weekends include the family.

"If there's a game, we all go. My wife enjoys it just as much. We kind of make it a family thing," said Aleshire, who said he also is a Maryland Terrapins "fanatic."

Aleshire and his wife, Cheryl, who live in Greenberry Hills, have been married for 22 years. Between them they have seven children, ranging in age from 15 to 35, and seven grandchildren.

Born in Luray, Va., Rick Aleshire's family moved to Clear Spring when he was 7. He is one of eight children.

Aleshire began coaching with Hagerstown Area Youth Soccer League in 1972 after serving three years in the United States Army. He coached there until 1989.

In 1994, his career as a high school coach began, with a four-year stint with Clear Spring High boys soccer team that earned them a regional title. After helping coach at South Hagerstown High for a year, the position at North High opened up in 1999, and Aleshire has been there ever since.

As much as he likes to win, Aleshire said a more important goal for him is to prepare his athletes for life.

He praised this year's girls soccer team which, despite losing in the state semifinals, he said had just the right mix of personality, attitude and leadership.

"This team came in with a purpose. They worked hard," Aleshire said.

Aleshire said he was inspired by his high school coach and physical education teacher, Stanley Canfield.

"I thought there was nobody better than him, except for my mom and dad," he said.

As a D-licensed coach, Aleshire said, he regularly attends seminars and observes other coach's warm-ups and techniques throughout the games. He said he has learned a lot by listening to his players.

When he's not at work or on the field, Aleshire looks forward to downtime poolside at his home, especially when all the family is together.

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