Gerry Chester goes back to coaching; hopefully, it snows soon

The clincher, when Gerry Chester knew without a shadow of a doubt he wanted to return to his post as Griswold High School boys’ cross country coach, came last fall on state championship Saturday at Wickham Park. In the snow.

“I went to watch and I got all nervous,” said Chester, who took time off from coaching to watch his son Erik compete for Seton Hall over the last four years. “I was like, ‘You’re going to watch a cross country race … why are you nervous?’ Then it started to snow. It was great.

“It never leaves you. If you’ve never competed or you haven’t coached, maybe you don’t understand that. But this is great.”

Chester coached cross country for 14 years at Ellis Tech, followed by nine years at Griswold. His teams won a combined 13 state championships. Erik, who ran for his dad at Griswold, graduated from Seton Hall earlier this year with a dual degree in sports management and finance. That cleared the path for Gerry Chester’s return to Griswold.

On Saturday, his team, featuring 13 runners, seven freshmen, competed at the 34th Haddad Windham Invitational. Three members of the Wolverines finished in the top 30 in the boys’ freshman race, leading Griswold to a second-place finish in that event.

Griswold is a member of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Small Division.

“I love it. I love going to practice,” Chester said Saturday. “I have one senior, a couple sophomores and everyone else is new. I have seven freshmen who I absolutely love. It’s just wide-eyed innocence – holy cow. Everything important I have to tell them I say three times. The first two don’t count and I hope by the third time they’re paying attention.”

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

This time, the NFA softball team is unbeaten, too

Last time the Norwich Free Academy softball team played Fitch, not many people thought it was going to be NFA which came out on top. Fitch was undefeated and on its way to a Class L state championship run. NFA, the No. 6 seed, then...

East Lyme softball's Mikaela LoPriore (1-0) really likes to throw stuff

East Lyme graduated eight starters, two Eastern Connecticut Conference all-stars, two pitchers. Then. Opening day, 2015. And the new kid, junior Mikaela LoPriore, the first-year starting pitcher for the Vikings’ softball team,...

Fitch softball has coaching times two, with Prpich, Cooper

Kate Prpich, the Fitch High School softball coach who once won a state championship herself, missed last season’s fireworks by the Falcons to welcome her and husband Andrew’s first child, son Mason. Fitch won the Class L state...

Coaches Misto, Ward bring a little Westerly flair to the ECC

In 2007, Meredith Ward was the Gatorade Rhode Island Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year, competing for Westerly High School where she is the all-time leading scorer with 2,226 points.