Getting to Know the New Varsity Lacrosse Coach Mrs. Amanda Rutledge
Apex High School has an amazing women’s lacrosse program with amazing coaches. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the new varsity coaches, Mrs. Amanda Rutledge, and getting to know a little bit about her.
- You’ve been at Apex as a teacher for three years, right?
This is my second full year because I started as a long-term substitute.
2.So, what did you do before you taught here?
I was a preschool teacher. I was the assistant preschool director at a preschool at Colonial Baptist Church, and I was there for ten years.
3. How did you first get interested in lacrosse?
I played lacrosse in high school. I grew up in Maryland where lacrosse is pretty much akin to soccer down here; where everyone plays soccer when they are little, everyone played lacrosse when you were little. So, playing up there was part of the school that I went to an all-girls school; we had teams, you learned it in P.E., and then you played it in the spring. So, that’s how I learned about it.
4. What is one of your highlights of playing?
The development of the team, learning the skills, getting to become better at it, just encouraging, and cheering each other on.
5.How long have you been coaching?
This will be my fourth year.
6.What is one of your favorite things about coaching?
I think just watching a player develop from not having a really strong skill set, knowledge, or understanding and then seeing them grow in all of those areas, their skills, their strengths, and their knowledge towards the end. Last year, Coach Kathy and I were complimented on the group of girls that we had; the majority of them had never played before, and the referees would tell us more than once that it was beautiful lacrosse. To hear that from people who have knowledge and understanding of the rules as much as the game and to say that those girls at that level played a very beautiful game of lacrosse because when it is played well it is quite amazing, and so that was something for me that really made it all worth it.
7.What is your favorite memory from coaching here at Apex?
The JV team was tied last year at the away Middle Creek game at halftime 3-3, and we were playing competitively, but we weren’t playing our best. We met at halftime and went over what we needed to do; they adjusted, and we ended up winning 12-3. We didn’t let them score at all the second half, we maintained possession, we utilized the ball well, and they were fantastically in charge of the game. When JV played Cardinal Gibbons last year, going in to that you kind of already have that mindset like it’s Cardinal Gibbons; they win at everything. We tied that game, and we competitively stayed alongside them. We had a chance at the end to win, but we were pretty exhausted because we played the same kind of way the whole time. To tie against them in my eyes and Kathy’s was a victory because they stood alongside of them, a bunch of girls who hadn’t been playing for very long.
8.How do you balance being a coach, a mom, and a teacher during the season and even
the off season during workouts?
We Crockpot a lot of food. My mom and my husband do a really good job of being helpful to get the areas where all of that needs to be done. Some days, I feel like I live here at school, like I should just have a cot in a room and just sleep here because we get here around 6:30-6:45, and I don’t leave some nights until 9 at night. But, I’ve always said that I was born with a lot of crazy and a little bit of common sense in the terms that I can do it all. I thrive on that kind of environment. I also have a son who plays here on the varsity team, so sometimes I still get to see him play. I wish I could do everything and be everywhere, but just taking it one day at a time is how I survive.
9.What challenges have you faced?
Just to get the players to make it really be their own. We want what’s best for them in every area of their life: their health, their well being, their school, and their ability to play on the field. As a woman and coaching young women, I want them to understand that they have to learn to balance it, they have to learn to find what’s the most important, and especially being a student athlete I want them to understand that their school needs to come first and then their job on the field. We have different personalities, and we have to learn to put those differences aside and understand that the team is the most important as well as, working together to strengthen one another and to support one another. So, sometimes that becomes a challenge in itself because you have different personalities all working together for one common goal. The word selflessness sometimes has to become a big word that everyone has to understand and has to
be a priority as well as accomplishing all of the goals at hand.
10.What is one interesting fact about you?
Besides the fact that I have six children, I love what I do. I love being a teacher and a coach, and I mean at times, I feel like I would still do this even if they didn’t pay me. I know that is crazy to say out loud. I love building the relationships with the girls, with all of my students, getting to know them, and trying to be personal in their lives. It’s important to me that you know that you’re not just a body in my classroom or a body on the field.
I would like to thank Mrs. Rutledge for doing this interview with me. I wish her and the team the best in this upcoming season.