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WDC gets 3 new sports coaches

Three new faces will be among Wadena Deer Creek Middle/High School sports coaching staff this year after the District 2155 School Board approved the hires at their meeting on Monday.  New head girl’s tennis coach Katy Westrom replaces resigned coach Vicki Smith, new cross country coach Mike Brunsberg replaces retired coach Terry Olson and new assistant football coach Zach Martin replaces resigned coach Brian Maki, WDC Activities Director Norm Gallant said.

Westrom (no relation to new WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum) is currently a music teacher at WDC Elementary and Brunsberg is an English teacher at the middle/high school.

Gallant said that with the new hires, all vacant slots for fall/winter sports coaching staff are now filled with the possible exception of 9th grade rural basketball coach. However, it is yet to be determined whether that position will remain, he said.

Originally from Moorhead, Brunsberg moved to the area in 1996 and has been a teacher at WDC since 2000, he said. Brunsberg has previously served as assistant cross country coach  for six seasons under Olson, and stepped in as interim head coach at one point when Olson temporarily left WDC for one year to do a coaching stint at Hamline University.

“Obviously, what I want for the program is for each and every runner that comes out to have a fantastic season so that we can have good word-of-mouth and get more kids out,” Brunsberg said.

Brunsberg said he has recently returned to running in his own free time after a hiatus. He plans to possibly run marathons in the next year or two. He’s been taking a gradual, step-by-step approach to his own training, a philosophy he’d like to apply to the school’s CC program, he said.

“Better to be safe... take things slow,” Brunsberg said. “A distance sport is something they have delayed gratification with.”

Cross country is unique among team sports in the bond that forms between runners is so strong that it’s even found sometimes between runners on opposing teams, Brunsberg said. Olson worked hard to make sure the Wadena team was like a family, and Brunsberg plans on following that tradition, he said.

“The first year that I coached with Terry (Olson) as his assistant, I was really impressed,” Brunsberg said. “I think one thing that Terry has taught me as an approach to high-school sports  is that you can almost have a family-style vibe to it because we’re small, we don’t have a lot of runners out.”

Practice begins for the WDC runners in mid-August and their first meet will be the same day school starts up again, Brunsberg said.

Look for profiles of the other two new coaches in a future edition of the PJ.