With practices beginning next week (February 22), PCS is thrilled that some of our most recent graduates are signed up as assistant coaches!
We contacted four of these alumni assistant coaches, asking them about their time playing sports at Portland Christian. We’d like to share some of their responses with you.
Each one of them is helping coach the sport that they played/participated in at one time or another while at PCS.
Demi Guild 2017 She’ll be graduating from George Fox University with a degree in Finance. She also works at Guild Golf Carts. From playing point guard at PCS, Demi transitioned to shooting guard while at college. Demi also ran track all four years and was an all-league volleyball player. She is helping coach girls basketball.
Jensyn Lown 2017 Jensyn is a senior at George Fox University majoring in marketing and works in their athletic department as a marketing and promotions coordinator. She started on the girls soccer varsity team all four years at PCS, and was team captain her last two years. Jensyn also played basketball four years and ran track for four years. She is helping coach the girls soccer team.
Avielle Jannsen 2018 Avi played soccer for a year while in high school and for three years participated in high school track. With this experience, she is helping coach Jr High soccer and track & field. This will be her second year helping coach both sports.
Dakota Guild 2020 An entrepreneur, Dakota owns and operates Guild Golf Carts LLC. While he was at PCS, he played guard for the basketball team for four years. He also played football (all-league punter), and played golf and ran track (4 sport athlete). Dakota is helping coach the boys basketball team.
What impact did your coach(es) have on you in your sport?
Demi: Looking back over my career, I realize how much they helped me see the bigger picture. Basketball is a great sport and it’s so fun to learn the game and study it in depth, however I think the skills I learned and the life lessons I learned are much more valuable than the plays we practiced or developing a 3 point shot.
Jensyn: My high school coach, who is now my head coaching partner, completely reformed my attitude and strategy while playing the game. He truly taught me what a high work ethic looks like, and introduced me to so many flows and transitions of the game I had never noticed before. I had always loved soccer and understood the general flow of the game, but Coach Scot taught me the important movements and transitions and a deeper understanding of the game. He was always pushing me to develop my skills (mostly working on my pesky left foot), and made me a better player because of his encouragement to work outside of practice and always stay focused and devoted.
Avielle: My high school track coach went through a lot with me to help me enjoy my sport. Most of my sports struggles were mental - I had to work through a lot of anxiety and fear. Eventually he was a helper in my decision to take a break from track the following year. They are pairings: coaches and athletes, teachers and students, parents and kids. I respect coaches who see what the person needs, not just the athlete.
Dakota: My coaches left a significant impact on my life. I still talk to most of my high school coaches. They meant way more to me than just a coach. Without the coaches I had at PC I would not have had the great experience I did playing sports.
How did your coach(es) impact your character and spiritual walk? Is that making a difference in your life now?
Demi: My high school coaches helped me grow tremendously. There was a higher purpose as to why we were playing the game, which really united our team, and helped us witness to other teams. The [PCS] culture was truly something special because of this.
Jensyn: My character grew a lot during my high school seasons at PCHS. Not only was I encouraged to play to honor God (playing respectively, being a good sport, not short-cutting myself or teammates), but I also was taught a way of passion, drive, and tenacity that has greatly impacted my life post high school. My coaches taught me to never be complacent, and to always push myself to achieve my goals. You can always do more than you think. These are skills I have been able to transfer not only into my collegiate sports career, but also into my education and career journeys. High school sports teach so many great skills, and I was blessed with great coach mentors whose lessons stick with me to this day.
Dakota: My coaches challenged me in so many ways, helping me realize that you show a love for Jesus in all you do, including sports. It sure makes an impact on my life today.
What do you hope to impart to the students you have been/will be coaching?
Demi: I really hope to help these student athletes see the bigger picture. I want them to leave high school feeling like they belonged, and like they played a part in something bigger than themselves. The lessons that can be taught, and the positive influence I experienced and hope to give to these athletes, is much bigger than wins and losses.
Jensyn: The number one goal I hope to model to these students is to honor Christ in all that you do. Everything we are doing, we are only doing because He allowed us to. We ought to thank and honor Him for allowing us to do the things we love. Every time we step on that field, we ought to recognize the privilege it is to do so, and play with grit and determination to honor the game and to honor God who placed each of us on that field together. It is also very important to me to make sure that these students just have fun. High school sports create memories that last forever, and being a part of a team is truly special. I want all of my athletes to enjoy their time together and playing their sport, and to feel they belong and are a part of something special that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Avielle: I would like to take the experience I had as an athlete and let that be a bridge to helping current athletes. I like to remind them that I have been through it too, and can help them do things that I was never able to do.
Dakota: My biggest thing is helping kids enjoy their high school years. Also I want to challenge all the kids I coach to be leaders at PC.
As you can see, coaches had a huge impact on each of these alumni’s experiences while at PCS; and continue to affect how they live their lives post high school.
The PCS athletic department is glad to welcome them back to high school as assistant coaches so that they too can influence our young student-athletes.