Salamanca’s Jankowski able to step away as bowling, golf coach | Sports activities

SALAMANCA — As he nears retirement, Gene Jankowski mentioned he’ll miss “the little issues” about teaching essentially the most.

The van rides to and from golf matches. The strike-filled end to an enormous bowling spherical. The acknowledgment, or simply catching up, throughout a classroom go to years later from previous gamers from both sport.

Jankowski is ready to retire on the finish of this college yr after greater than 20 years instructing within the Salamanca college district, most of them marked by teaching. He arrived as a instructor in 2001 and took up teaching bowling a yr later.

He simply wrapped up his 14th season as golf coach this spring and the winter was his twentieth bowling season with the Warriors.

Jankowski famous “there’s by no means a great time” to stroll away, since he’d all the time be leaving some athletes behind. However he feels each applications are in good fingers transferring ahead.

Every is a sport these athletes can stick with it for a few years after they go away highschool. Absolutely, Jankowski will spend a while in retirement on the bowling lanes or on the golf course.

“They’re sports activities I like and definitely I’ve gotten higher at since I’ve began teaching them,” Jankowski mentioned of gravitating towards bowling and golf. “My philosophy for teaching … is as a result of it is a lifelong sport, if a child’s struggling, I am going to say, ‘What did you do?’ I need them to grasp what they did and to determine it out on their very own, as a result of I am not going to be there each time.

“In the event that they’re taking pictures a 10-pin and it goes within the gutter, I need them to grasp what they did mistaken, to allow them to determine it out on their very own,” he continued. “Once they’re taking part in on their very own, they’re like, ‘Hey, I should be doing this as a result of Coach taught me that.’”

On the identical day he met with The Press for a career-spanning interview, Jankowski mentioned he had simply seen Brandon Milanowski and Justin Blakeslee, two SHS graduates who performed each sports activities for him.

“You see these children. They’re on the course, you see them on the lanes,” he mentioned.

OVER 20 seasons, the Salamanca boys bowling workforce has had all profitable campaigns and claimed 5 league titles since 2012-13, together with profitable the Part 6 Class D title in 2015. The women have received three league titles (2006, 2009 and 2020) and Jankowski was simply as proud to level out they have been a scholar-athlete workforce in a minimum of 10 of his 20 seasons.

He made lots of recollections over these 20 years and admitted he understandably had bother sorting all of them out for his favorites.

“It is the little stuff,” he mentioned. “How do you place it in any kind of order? Patrick Dry his senior yr, solely bowler I’ve ever had that the final three balls he threw for me had been all strikes. I keep in mind Matt Bridges stopping again 5 or 6 years after he graduated and we talked for a half hour. Bryant Johnson and Matt James their senior yr, throughout bowling season they’d cease in my room, each morning, we might speak, generally we would not say something, however that is nonetheless there.”

Jankowski saved an inventory of all his workforce bowling MVPs over 20 years. Amanda Hill, who doubled with basketball, averaged a 161 in Jankowski’s first yr (2002-03) and stays the best common women bowler he coached, adopted by Kasey Tucker’s 159 in 2005-06. Xander Edstrom’s common of 202 in 2016-17 marks the best boys’ quantity in 20 years, adopted by Bryant Johnson’s 199 simply three years earlier. This yr, nevertheless, introduced Jankowski’s first All-Sectional All-Star, junior Quinton Jones, who certified for the state championships.

One other nice reminiscence got here simply final month, as the college board acknowledged retirees within the district, longtime assistant coach Skip Nary spoke up on Jankowski’s behalf and led to a dozen previous and current bowlers with him.

“He obtained as much as acknowledge me, saying I have been there for 20 years and he mentioned, ‘Grasp on a minute, I’ve obtained some those that have to be in right here for this,’” Jankowski recalled. “I used to be OK and calm and then you definitely see all of the previous stroll in with the current bowlers and there is a few dozen children there that took day trip to return to a board assembly and stand within the corridor for a half an hour to say, ‘ Thanks, Coach.’”

ONE YEAR, Jankowski mentioned, he had an enormous inflow of bowlers present up for tryouts. He now laughs on the purpose why.

“I needed to make cuts as a result of we did not have the cash to have 14 individuals bowl,” he mentioned. “The one yr we had so many children check out and I used to be like, ‘alright,’ after which I spotted after — they usually did not say something, which made it even funnier — they mentioned let’s go check out for bowling, we ‘re not going to bowl on the workforce, however we will go and bowl three video games without spending a dime and have the college pay for it. All of them confirmed up and bowled and out the door they went and I by no means noticed most of them once more. That was fairly humorous.”

The Allegany-Limestone boys offered the strongest rival in Jankowski’s tenure, profitable 13 league titles in that point. Any win over the Gators meant one thing.

“There have been years the place they had been phenomenal. We had been good, however they had been higher and we knew that entering into and we spoiled quite a few probabilities for them for an undefeated season,” he mentioned. “Now it is our flip and we’re lastly going to win the league, we find yourself 47-1 and our one loss was to Allegany. Andy (Spring, AL coach) did not say something, and I mentioned, ‘nicely it is solely becoming that you simply guys spoil our undefeated season.’ Oftentimes, whoever would win the league, the opposite workforce would beat them at sectionals.

“After we lastly received it, I am going to always remember it, I obtained an electronic mail from Andy’s spouse congratulating me and the way blissful she was for us and the boys and the way you deserved this,” Janowski continued. “It was so good that they acknowledged us because the rivals we’re. I do know most of these children, I bowl with a few of these children in my males’s league. That basically meant so much.”

GOLF REQUIREMENTS extra of a hands-off method. Coaches meet with the gamers earlier than the match, however then allow them to off on their very own whereas they wait or play with different coaches elsewhere on the course.

“We had been taking part in at Franklinville a pair weeks in the past and also you get the children began, you exit to the holes, any native guidelines that they should know after which the children go play,” he mentioned. “If there’s any questions, they’ll name us. So we exit to No. 5 and we begin taking part in, we get again to No. 1 and I am on the tee field and it is raised over the creek and I am looking on the total course and I am like, ‘I am teaching a highschool golf match proper now, and I am taking part in golf with the opposite coaches.’ I do not see any of my children wherever on the course, I am like how is it potential that that is teaching?”

Golf coaches work extra with gamers throughout apply, although he famous a number of the extra skilled golfers do not want as a lot as others.

“The neat factor about golf is you are with the children on a regular basis,” Jankowski mentioned. “The van rides there and again, dinner, the tales and the laughs and the camaraderie that makes that sport a lot totally different. It is robust to check the 2, choose one over the opposite, I like them each however for various causes.”


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