The Player Turned Coach

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

TURNER, Ore.–About a year-and-a-half ago, Everett St. Clair was playing in his final home baseball game against rival Cascade in a 4-3 win over the Cougars as the then-senior finished up his final season and year at Stayton High School.

That was May 11, 2016.

Fast-forward to the Fall of 2016 and about 11 minutes west of Stayton to the town he once called a rivial, St. Clair was given the opportunity to coach at Cascade High School in football under his former Eagle coach in Brandon Bennett and recieved the opportunity to coach baseball as well.

All in a matter of a few months out of high school.

“It’s awesome, I mean it’s kind of easier for me because I know what he wants , what he’s asking, so it’s easier to understand and put those lessons that he taught me into these kids,” St. Clair described the opportunity to coach alongside his former coach in Bennett.

Now that dynamic was interesting, and with it being football season, we’ll focus on this unique connection and faucet of Everett coaching at Cascade High School; in St. Clair’s freshman year, Bennett was the JV coach at Stayton and both interacted on occasion during that season.

P1920148
St. Clair squatting down during Monday Morning’s practice as the 2016 Stayton graduate enters his second year coaching (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

By St. Clair’s sophomore year, Bennett took over the Varsity Head Coaching job and coached the Eagles St. Clair’s sophomore and junior seasons before taking the Cougar job as St. Clair entered his senior season at Stayton.

Upon graduation the opportunity was presented to St. Clair and the then 18-year-old took full advantage of the chance even though it was the rival school.

It was the South Salem to the Sprague in 6A, the Gervais to the Scio or Blanchet Catholic to the Salem Academy, both in the 3A level; so obviously there was going to be some heckling that first year.

“It was kind of flicking each other crap and just having fun with it,” St. Clair said about interacting with kids he once played against.  “And we always give each other funny stuff and they always pick on me because they always beat us.  But it was fine and welcomed me really well and really fun.  It’s really fun actually.”

St. Clair pointed out that one time when they were watching film, there was a tape that they watched that featured St. Clair playing that he mentioned was funny to see.

“It’s a lot of fun, it’s definitely makes you want to play a lot too. I don’t know, it’s really fun seeing people…seeing what you can do for the kids, making them grow, becoming better players and people in general,” he said.

“It’s really fun to see that growth and development.”

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