Category: Coaches Clipboard – By Coach Hamre

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Grenadiers News · March Madness or March Happiness?

March Madness or March Happiness?


I know many people are tuned into the NCAA basketball tournament games and seeing the “Madness”, but we have some news coming out of Colonial High School from the month of March that is anything but madness and quite honestly has many of us smiling with pride!

First of all let’s recognize our February efforts that has given us the March momentum…Please congratulate our Girls Basketball Team for winning the District Title for the 6th time in a row!  A SIX PEAT!!  That is incredible! Coach Richardson and Coach Felton have done an amazing job with the girls.  We often take for granted that our girls program is going to win, but it takes so much work and dedication.  We truly have one of the best basketball programs in the state.

Our boy’s team finished up the season with double digits wins for the third straight year, making it the winningest boys run in about 10 years!  The boys lost a tough one just missing reaching the District Title game in the final seconds of their last game but made us all proud.  We hate to see Coach Sterchele step down but he left the cupboard quite full and heading in the right direction.

The Boys Weightlifting Team wins the Region with a stellar performance!  Now it’s on to States!  The boys also won the Metro for the 10th time!  Coach Grove has now distanced himself from all other coaches in Central Florida.  The next closest weight lifting coach of this caliber would be the legendary Paul Pope who had won 6 Metro Titles.  To top that off Coach Grove’s boys won the District Title.  Winning the Metro, District and Region all in one year is a remarkable accomplishment.  We are truly a weightlifting beast in Central Florida.

The boys Baseball Team just finished up a run that started before spring break and went well into break with a five game winning streak that featured huge wins over Dr. Phillips, Apopka and Wellington.  These are all powerhouse programs and our Grenadiers measured up quite well.  The boys have won 6 of their last 7 games and had a huge win vs. that blue and gold team down the road on Wednesday, 8-5.   Coach Smith has our boys playing like a well-oiled machine.

The girls Flag Football team, lead by Mike Rummel, earned their first ever district win over Freedom.  They are off to a great start on their way to the playoffs.

Our boys volleyball team has caught fire as well winning it’s last four out of five in a row including a monumental win over University on their court!  This is the first time in 10 years our boy’s volleyball team has beaten the team that wears blue and gold.

Our boys’ water polo team has grown fins and sharp teeth prowling the pools like sharks and providing CHS with the best water polo team in over a dozen years.  They finished the season near .500.  They lost three games by one point in the last seconds of each of those games.  Even better news, all of the boys are back for next year’s run at the District! Coach Jana Adams is a water magician!

Our Girls Softball Team is in a building process but they are fun to watch.  They have lost tight games and are on the verge of getting over the hump.  First year coach, Aimee Halpin, has guided this team to becoming a team no one in Central Florida wants to play.  Our girls have come up just a little short in a handful of games but the program is growing.

Boys and Girls Tennis, led by Coaches Grace and Johnson, concluded their season going undefeated in all home matches!  With many returning players and an huge upgrade to facilities there is many reason to be excited about the future.

In Track our boys and girls have done great things under the direction of Coach Whaley and Sherman.  Over the Spring Break Colonial Track and Field sent 3 seniors to the FSU Relays to compete in the 400, 800, and Long and triple jump. Roberto Brooks and Pashen Williams competed in the 400 and the 800. Over the last 2 weeks Roberto broke his personal best times in both events, first hitting 49.57 in the 400 at Winter Park, and then 1:57.68 in the 800 at the Greyhound Invitational. He finished 9th in the 400 and 24th in 800, hitting a 50.18 and 1:58.16. Pashen Williams also ran both the 400 and the 800. She finally broke her personal best time in the 400 a few weeks back at the Brian Jaeger Open and her 800 has been consistently in the 2:20 category. She finished 6th in the 400 and 9th in the 800, hitting 56.78 and 2:17.93 (her personal best in the 800). Both took on the best competition the state has to offer in those events.  Nyron Tate also competed this weekend in the triple jump and the long jump. He didn’t have the best of luck in the triple jump, but he finished 1st in the long jump with 6.83 meters. He finished half a foot over the nearest competitor which is big with the athletes that were there.

In addition to performing well, we are also looking good.  We have new tennis courts that are absolutely stunning.  We have an updated Track that is one step away from being one of the best in the county.  Our Stadium weight room, under the direction of your new head football coach, Donny Hodges, has it looking brand new with an amazing paint job and updated flooring.  If you stop out and see the Softball and baseball fields you should notice how impressive these facilities are as well.  Coach Smith and Halpin have groomed their fields with the assistance of Joe Teti to make us look so Major League!  Then go to the gym lobby and see our new monitor displaying our teams at Colonial in a first class fashion…everywhere you look you can see Colonial stepping up and shining from athletes performances to facilities that are the pride of our community.

We also are very proud of some individuals who have received great honors and recognition:

Girls Basketball

Kharis Idom, Junior

East Metro Player of the Year

All Central FL, 2nd team


Angelica Delgado, Senior

East Metro 2nd team

Full Scholarship to Hillsborough CC


Angelica Flores, Senior

Full Scholarship to Indian River CC



Girls Lacrosse

Nicole Rivera  (10th Grade)–  33 Goals this year!  One of the top five leading scorers in Central Florida


Boys Water Polo

Johnnie Busacca he had 54 goals this year.  He averaged nearly three a game.  That is an outstanding achievement.  Johnnie is one of the best water polo players in Central Florida.


Girls Volleyball Signing

Michelle Reyes Diaz, attending South Florida State College.



Boys Weightlifting

District Champions


Richard Acevedo


Kelvin Beriguete


Olumeki Shaffer-Garrett


Caden Woody


Huy Dinh


Metro Champions


Richard Acevedo


Kelvin Beriguete


Brian Gilabert


Deandre Cunningham




Olumeki Shaffer-Garrett


Caden Woody


Huy Dinh




As we close out March and head into April we need to be reminded that changing the culture and brand of an older school can be a challenge, but so many people are committed to the cause that we are indeed making a difference.  We have taken the best from the past and added today’s new energy.  This recipe is yielding great results and there is no Madness to that, in fact….

This is why it’s Great to be a Grenadier!


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Grenadiers News · There’s No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

In 1978 I graduated from high school, packed my car and headed to college with high hopes of returning one day a better man.  As I watched my home town fade away in the rear view mirror and with  butterflies in my stomach fully understanding of the great challenges that lie ahead I also carried with me a goal of being a teacher and a coach in four years.  Those four years passed like they were days most likely because I was so excited to follow my dream of being a coach and heading back to where it all started for me.   A college degree later that gave me the piece of paper allowing me to teach and coach, my car finally took the U-Turn and headed home.  In 1982 I was given the opportunity to coach at my Alma Mater.  I was a football coach on the very field in which I suited in armor just 4 years earlier.  It’s kind of a surreal kind of feeling to go from pads to a whistle in such a short period of time at the very place in which I once played.  At 22 years of age I was only 6 years older than most players, yet I felt ready and more importantly at home.

The next five years I grew even more and so did the football program.  I was very fortunate to be surrounded by incredible coaches and a community that was so familiar and supportive.  The best part of my dream come true was the blessing to be part of program that was once the door mat of the league to perennial champions!  This was a very special time in my life not only because of the success I was experiencing but it was on grounds that I had given skin to.  I had given blood, sweat and tears to my school and it was easy to do.  That school was my home and those kids and fellow coaches were my family.

As an Athletic Director a big part of my job is to find coaches that will give of themselves in a manner that will provide our programs the best chance to be successful.  Many resumes come across my desk that shows all kinds of experience, incredible backgrounds, and wonderful references.  But there is nothing like having a resume that reads, “Graduated from Colonial High School”.  I know what that means.  There is an intangible there that no one else can measure up to.  We are fortunate to have seven coaches on our staff at CHS that can all say they are Grenadiers, which reaches well beyond the coaching status they carry at our school.  Once upon a time they too suited up and did battle for our colors and the pride of our school.  Next time you see Cindy Richardson, Katie Short, Alyssa Wilson, Taryn Rutkoviz, Andres Fernandez, Erik Sterchele and Josh Pavlicek, please thank them for coming home!  We are all better because of them and It’s all because ….


It’s Great to be a Grenadier!

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Grenadiers News · The Silver Lining – 8/22/16

On Saturday August 20th, the media reported the previous night’s football scores as they always do. This of course marks the beginning of the highly anticipated High School Football season for 2016. When scrolling through the scores I am sure there were some that noted that Colonial High School lost to Celebration 32-22.  To many I am sure that was a sign of, “same ole Colonial football story”.  Arguably fair in nature, but far from the truth.  Please be reminded that the Colonial Football Team was 0-0 before the game and are still 0-0 after the game.  This was a practice game, besides a score doesn’t always reflect the entire picture.  It didn’t reveal that a team that was down 32—6 in the third quarter came storming back demonstrating a sign of resilience.  The Grenadiers could have folded up their tent and headed for the sidelines, only they picked each other up, and collectively banded together to go on a 16 point surge to the delight of the crowd that stood behind them.  Even as the clock ticked down to the final two seconds the team of Red and Black fought to the very end.  The fact that just moments beforehand the defense stopped Celebration on a fourth down play and gave our offense one last Hail Mary for our us to score one more time sent a message loud and clear.  And even though they knew they couldn’t score ten points in one play it didn’t stop them from trying to draw even closer.  To some this may have seen feudal, to an old coach like me it proved to me we are indeed on the right track.  You see, the one thing a coach looks for in his team is to seek an identity that shows they are willing to go through the fire and withstand the heat without flinching, to get up off the ground after being knocked down, to not point fingers at each other over mistakes made, to not throw in the towel, or more simply put, don’t ever quit.  This team showed they are a made of perseverance and resiliency.  I have often heard and even experienced myself as a coach, teams that would run through walls for their coaches.  It takes a special coaching staff to nurture that kind of effort.  Coach Johnson has a plan and it includes building young minds to think boldly and to trust one another even in the face of defeat, that this is more of a marathon than a sprint.  He understands the most difficult opponent often times is actually yourself before you gain your true confidence.  It’s amazing what a group can do when they just buy into what the coach is preaching every day.   There is a tremendous history in this country filled with great stories of underdogs and the downtrodden that overcame adversity and overwhelming odds eventually finding success.  Folks if you don’t understand what I am talking about, please go watch the movies:  Miracle on Ice, Hoosiers, Rudy, Blindside, Remember the Titans, The Rookie and long list of others just like them.  Our Grenadiers have just given you the first chapter of their great story, it’s entitled, “Resilience”.  If that is the only thing our kids learn this year it will serve them for the rest of their lives and at the same time be a crying call for our school to follow, only there is so much more to come.

I might further add what a great night it was for our school.  The Marching 100 led by Jason Chapkin was absolutely awesome.  The Cheerleaders led by Katie Short in their new uniforms had the crowd on their feet throughout the night.  The Trainers led by Courtney Butler kept our players healthy and safe.  We need to also recognize the ROTC for presenting our Countries Colors with such dignity.   We had a large contingency from our Pop Warner Group, the future of our football program, backing our team.  Throw in the fact that we had a very big crowd in black and red that showed their support to the very end.   To me this all showed what a great night it truly was for our school and community.

I drove home Friday night after the game and found myself filled with Pride despite knowing we may have lost on a scoreboard but we won in so many other ways.  This is why when we see a dark cloud we search for a silver lining hoping that it will reveal so much more… in this case it shows…


It’s great to be a GRENADIER!



By Coach Hamre

Athletic Director

Colonial High School