New spring coaches refuel teams


Julianne Cruz

The girls tennis team has a new coach in Andres Rodriguez, a former tennis player for Montgomery College.

Julia Fine, Sports Writer

The swinging of baseball bats, the bouncing of tennis balls, the screams of lacrosse, and the cheering of track runners can be heard around the school.  Spring sports officially began March 1, marking the start of another Rocket athletic season. This year, RM has welcomed multiple new coaches into the athletics department for spring sports. 

Both JV and varsity baseball have new head coaches this season. For varsity, Andrew Gottlieb has taken over as head coach. Gottlieb grew up in Gaithersburg and played college baseball at Oberlin College. He was previously an assistant coach at Watkins Mill and Gaithersburg high school. Gottlieb is already close friends with RM athletic director Daniel Whitlow, having worked with him in the past at Gaithersburg, so he knew it would be a smooth and easy transition. “When I saw that the RM position was available, I knew that I needed to apply,” Gottlieb said. This year, Gottlieb implemented a new off-season conditioning workout program from January leading up to tryouts to help prepare the team for the upcoming season. This included workouts three days a week and batting cage sessions one day a week.

Both the varsity and junior varsity baseball teams have new coaches this year. Coach Andrew Gottlieb has taken over as varsity coach, and Coach Ted Kearney is the new JV coach. (Julianne Cruz)

Richard Montgomery is in one of the toughest baseball divisions, including last year’s state finalist Churchill, so a strong varsity team is needed to win games. “This season will be a great test for RM baseball,” Gottlieb said. He hopes to have a record of at least 10-6 and compete in and win multiple playoff games. “This team has the potential to be very good. It’s my job to come to practice every day with the intention of getting the most out of our guys.” Gottlieb added.  He is excited about the opportunity this year to have the best season possible. 

Within the program, the JV baseball team also is welcoming a new head coach for this season. Ted Kearney, who had been searching for a coaching position, is eager to get the season going as the new JV coach. Although there were no cuts made, Kearney believes his team has a lot of talent and will have a great season ahead. Kearney wants to focus on making sure his players remember that being a student is an important part of being an RM “student-athlete” and to maintain good grades. Kearney also wants to implement the idea of the “Total Team Concept,” having his players believe that no individual is bigger than the team. “Win or lose, we pick each other up both on and off the field,” Kearney said. He hopes this will bring them closer together and stronger as a team. Both baseball teams have a tough schedule, which will be a test for the first-year coaches. 

At the tennis courts, a new coach has taken over the girl’s program. RM only has a single team, so the tryout process is even more critical. Andres Rodriguez has filled the position of head coach for this season after Coach Fahrner retired at the end of last year. Rodriguez has played tennis for most of his life and played competitively at Montgomery College. “Tennis has always been a big part of my life and I wanted to share the love of tennis with a new generation of players,” Rodriguez said. A lot of girls came out for tryouts, so the selection was difficult, but Rodriguez feels he has found a good group for the team this year. One of Rodriguez’s main goals for the season is for the team to have fun which will help the team be successful. Prioritizing and strengthening his players’ mental game is also something Rodriguez wants to focus on. “I want to emphasize helping my team not just be stronger players physically but also mentally,” Rodriguez said. 

Down at the lacrosse fields, the girl’s teams have added four new coaches into the program. For varsity, Jackie Page, a RM alum and former Syracuse women’s lacrosse player, has stepped in as assistant coach.

The JV team has a new group of coaches who have stepped up to lead the team after a 9-0 season last year. (Julianne Cruz)

There are three new coaches for the JV team, after last year’s coach had to leave due to school. Head coach Rieley Auger, who played club lacrosse at UMD and two assistant coaches, Clare Hemmig and Elizabeth Conway, both RM alumni, who are also helping coach the team this year. RM is also in a very tough division for lacrosse, so this season ahead will be a challenge, but the new coaches are excited to get started.