From coach to father

Mr.+Witkin+talks+about+his+plans+for+next+year%E2%80%99s+lacrosse+team%2C+because+he+is+currently+stepping+down+as+varsity+coach+and+to+focus+more+on+the+JV+players.+%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99m+going+to+try+to+develop+the+JV+players+so+they+can+be+ready+for+varsity%2C%E2%80%9D+Witkin+said.

Monique Munoz

Mr. Witkin talks about his plans for next year’s lacrosse team, because he is currently stepping down as varsity coach and to focus more on the JV players. “I’m going to try to develop the JV players so they can be ready for varsity,” Witkin said.

Hanna Suarez, Editor-in-Chief

The end of the school year marks the end of head lacrosse coach Scott Witkin’s leadership for the varsity team. With his experience as a NCAA coach professional lacrosse player himself, Witkin started the program at Downey High School nearly nine years ago. He  raised the sport from a club sport and watched it grow to a CIF league sport’ but now it is time for the coach to raise his children and watch them grow.

 

“During season, I’m largely not around,” Witkin said, “It’s a huge burden on her [my wife]…and I’m never going to get this time back with them [my kids]; I can always come back to coaching when my kids are grown up but I’ll never get to be around my kids when they’re this age again.”

 

Witkin has dedicated a lot of his time to molding the sport into what it is today. Not only in the athletic sense, but through the companionship that resulted over the years. Senior Nick Farina, whom Witkin has coached since he was introduced to the sport in the eight grade, has developed a strong friendship with his coach throughout the seasons.

 

“You won’t ever have a friendship like that, between coach and player,” Farina said. “He’s just the coolest guy. But when push comes to shove and you need to get in the game zone he’s going to get us serious and get us focused on the game and what we need to do.”

 

Coach Witkin makes sure to help each individual so that they have a full understanding of the game and become better players. With his help, Farina was accepted to Adam State University where he will continue to play lacrosse. Although Witkin will not have as much time with the team as before, he will still run first period lacrosse and hopes to develop the younger players during that time.

 

“Before him I didn’t know much about this sport,” Nicolas Silva,11, said. “He taught me the fundamentals of lacrosse and how to play my hardest.

 

‘Scotty,’ as Witkin’s students call him, has been there for the team when they need him, for problems on and off the field alike. When asked what he has taught his students the most, Witkin’s response was direct:

 

“How to be men; I think that’s one of the things that a lot of the former players would come back to say, is ‘Thank you for teaching me how to approach life; how to be a man.’”

 

Coincidently, when Silva was asked what his coach has taught him the most he replied:

 

“He taught me how to be a better man, and how to be respectful on the field.”

 

Though his students will miss their couch guiding them from the sideline, they will still have his support, and with four kids at home ages 1-7, Witkin has plenty of fresh young minds to influence and teach as he has for so many years.