Locust Valley High School girls junior varsity lacrosse and field hockey coach Carolyn Collins spent her last afternoon on the sidelines during her team’s final season competition against East Meadow on May 10, but not before the team, fellow coaches and the community came to bid her farewell. Coach Collins has coached and been a member of the physical education department’s faculty for 25 years and will retire in June.
Prior to the start of the game, the team presented flowers to Coach Collins and lined up and clapped as she told each of them farewell.
Varsity lacrosse coach Carolyn Morales described Coach Collins as “a coach that has gone above and beyond for her players, treating every single one of them like they were her daughters. She is truly the unsung hero for Locust Valley Athletics.”
Coach Collins said she is not sure what her next step will be after retirement. She did say, however, that she hopes her team members have learned the definition of good sportsmanship, the ability to display camaraderie and have acquired a love of the game. “Through coaching, I have wanted my students to become good citizens and learn leadership skills by playing the game,” she said.
Coach Collins left an indelible mark on those students who were lucky to play on her teams. Sophomore Ashley Grella described Coach Collins as someone who “cares about the girls, all of us,” while Kate French, who was on her team freshman year, described Coach Collins as “welcoming, kind and encouraging.”
“She pushed me to be better and believed in me more than I did,” Kate said.
Junior Olivia Deltatto works on the Athletic Council with Coach Collins and said she [Collins] wants nothing but the best for Locust Valley and the community and is a strong advocate for females in the district. “She gave me strong building blocks, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.”