Coaches of the Month : Phil Coss and Kate Nutile JV Softball


By: Brooke McGurl

 

The Junior Varsity softball team came off a season without a winning record, but with a winning experience, thanks to both coaches, Phil Coss and Kate Nutile. Both have had long and experienced careers in softball, not just consisting of coaching for Winchester. Coach Nutile, daughter of Winchester baseball legend Bob Nutile, played both second base and pitcher for the Winchester varsity team for 3 ½ seasons during her high school career. She constantly showed her own talent as well as demonstrating her immense knowledge for the game to her players throughout this past season. The team started off with no pitcher, so Kate put in the work to train two players with little to no experience in softball pitching. She dealt with their large lack of skill, in comparison to her own, with nothing but encouragement. All of the players loved her and her dry sense of humor.

Coach Coss has been a softball coach for a large part of his life, including coaching softball for all of his daughters that played. One of his most successful teams in his career he coached from U12 to U17. This team attended and won countless tournaments across New England and the country. Although his most recent season with this JV team did not have the most wins, he always supported every one of his players no matter how they were struggling. Coss, as he was called by his players, helped every girl with batting. His coaching really proved successful by the end of the season. In the first game, the Sachems only had one hit, but in one of their last games, against the Arlington Spy Ponders, every player hit the ball.

Although both coaches are extremely qualified, what makes them the coaches of the month are who they are as people. Both coaches always preached that the order of priorities is, “Family, school, then sports,” and they echoed this motto throughout the season. They were understanding if a player missed a practice to study for an important test or if their family was recognizing any kind of religious holiday. Also, both coaches made the softball environment welcoming to all of the players. Not everyone loves to play softball, but every girl on the team would share a laugh or smile during a game or practice because of the coaches. There was always fun with the team, but when it was time to get serious, Coss and Kate made sure that work got done. Even with multiple tough losses throughout the season, every girl went into games with the mindset that they would do their best, and this was thanks to the coaches. They told their players to just focus on making the “routine plays” which became easy outs as the season progressed. The JV sachems were able to play competitively against strong teams that had multiple varsity players mixed into their rosters. Every player was proud to walk off the field following a “rocking chair inning” as they were affectionately called by Coach Coss. Although many coaches say that winning is not the most important thing, Kate and Coss made it clear to their team that what mattered to them is that everyone tries their hardest. With coaches like these it is hard for anyone to not want to play their absolute best to make them proud.Not every player will continue her softball career, but every player will remember the two great coaches and what they taught the team during this past season.