Coach of the Year: Steamboat’s Betsy Frick
The challenge in front of Betsy Frick was daunting.
The task was to restart a youth program from scratch with little to no help.
But Frick said she had no reservations about the Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse team.
“It’s been really fun,” Frick said. “It’s been challenging, but it’s been fun to see the girls progress as far as they have.”
Usually, a coach that goes 6-9 in a season isn’t named the Yampa Valley Coach of the Year. To understand why Frick won the award, look back only a few years.
Frick came to Steamboat five years ago and revamped the program four years ago. The first year, the team started with a couple of games. The second, it had a couple more. Last year, the team moved to a full varsity schedule, finishing the year 0-14.
But this year, through Frick’s immense efforts, the team turned things around.
“When a team loses, turning it to a winning culture is hard,” Frick said. “We had to get them going into a game knowing we can win.”
It started to happen on a more regular basis this season.
The team continued to progress throughout the year, winning a program-record six games.
Frick said she plans to build the program but said the lack of a feeder program puts Steamboat behind a lot of teams.
It makes her work at the high school level all the more impressive. No one spent more time recruiting players and emphasizing the fun in the game.
For many of this year’s graduating seniors, the first time they touched a lacrosse stick was when they met Frick.
“She really got me to see the fun in it even though I couldn’t catch and throw at the beginning,” said Nikki Fry, who will go to Fort Lewis College on a lacrosse scholarship next year. “At the end of last year, she told me, ‘You have the potential to play at the next level.’ It was her pushing me to believe I could play at the next level.”
Frick’s next task is even more daunting: She wants to start a feeder program.
This spring, she has hosted camps for middle school girls and will continue to do so throughout the summer.
She knows if she can get a lacrosse stick in their hands, they’ll fall in love with the game like she did when she was playing with her older sister in their backyard as children.
“The game sells itself,” she said. “It’s so fun.”
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The Lower and Central Yampa River Basin, which include Craig, Hayde, Rangely, Dinosaur and Meeker, will be under a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service starting at 6 a.m. Thursday.