I want to commend a woman who has impacted so many high school girls and has not been recognized for her achievements, commitment and love — Jane O’Neill, aka Coach Sam. Sam was the RHS varsity lacrosse coach for six years and my personal coach for four. She is not only the best coach that I have played for, but she is my personal cheerleader, second mother, a role model for me personally and professionally and best of all, my dear friend. I am not alone.
Sam affected many players throughout her career. She was not only a great coach, but she made us all want to come to practice, succeed in games and win state championships. Sam took a team that was ignored by the league and helped record the only state championship in the history of the program. Playing for Sam was one of the highlights of my life and I know many of my teammates feel the same way. Sam is the coach that every player dreams to play for. She not only developed amazing players, but she fought for state recognition in accolades for her players and did everything she could to allow us to play at higher levels.
Sam was a devoted coach, spending countless hours outside of the season to develop relationships with her players and scout out potentials, making them all feel cared for. She supports her players in whatever they do, including concerts, other sports, academics and more. I cannot count the times that I saw Sam at school activities just because her players were participating or attending them. Sam is the coach that I wish to be one day. I want to thank Sam for myself but also for all the girls that she taught, fought for, befriended, mentored and loved.
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