Baseball coach creates club

Chloe Grimm, Editor-in-chief

The Revere baseball coach created a new club for student athletes to learn leadership skills from alumni and create a unity between sports. 

Baseball coach and math teacher Steve Wido decided to create a club called R Club based on his experience with the baseball team. Wido leads his team, along with other coach and science teacher Jason Cottrell, through a character class to teach leadership skills to their players. Wido believes it is important for athletes, specifically captains and Varsity athletes, to learn leadership skills to be successful. Wido detailed the importance of a leadership class. 

“I view it as, [in] school you get to take English class, you take math class, you take science class, but you don’t really ever, as an athlete, get to take a leadership class or to learn the traits that make successful athletes be successful people,” Wido said.  

R Club’s name was inspired by Jackson High School. The school has something called a “Varsity J” that gives recognition to Varsity athletes. Wido explained how he would like Revere to realize what it means to be a Varsity athlete. 

“It used to be a big thing to letter as an athlete; if you were a freshman or sophomore and you lettered, that was a big deal. Now you get a varsity letter and it is what it is. For me, I think there should be an athletic culture, like ‘oh, I lettered, this is what it means to be a Varsity Revere athlete,’” Wido said. 

The club takes place during Minuteman Time, and Wido plans to advance it to a time before school where athletes from all sports can come and participate. High school guidance counselor Emily Rion encouraged Wido to start a leadership program like R Club a couple years ago when she noticed a change in male athletes’ mental health. 

“I actually approached Mr. Wido around two years ago and I said ‘Mr. Wido I’m seeing an influx of athletes, even more specifically male athletes, struggling with mental health,’ they were seeking me out and I was happy they were but concerned that there was such an influx of that,” Rion said.

Rion hopes to incorporate a subtle mental health aspect into the club without making the club all about mental health, potentially causing athletes to stray away from the program. Rion spoke about how after Wido would speak about leadership, Rion would come in to add her spin on it. 

“I would always follow up with a video or a conversation regarding mental health. Did I come out and always say that’s what it was? Not necessarily because then they would shy away from it,” Rion said. 

Wido’s goal for the club is to invite Revere alumni to come speak before school about their athletic experience after high school. When Wido taught his baseball players about leadership in their own program, he and Cottrell spoke about their experience. Wido believes other Revere alumni would have more interesting conversations versus him and another baseball coach. Wido explained what the alumni may talk about. 

“They will pick their own topic, whether it’s on leadership, character [or] adversity for them. . . and at the end I’ll open it up to a Q and A. . . I think it would be cool for our kids who are considering being college athletes to get to ask those questions,” Wido said. 

Wido’s main goal for the club is to create a unity between all the sports at Revere. He explained more of why he believes it is important.

“I’m trying to build camaraderie of sport to sport. I think we have a good athletic tradition here, [but] I don’t know if we necessarily have soccer and basketball and volleyball and softball and baseball togetherness amongst all the athletes here,” Wido said. 

Athletic director Don Seeker used to work at Tallmadge, where the school had a similar leadership program. He hopes to help out in any way R Club may need and explained why he believes the club is a great opportunity for Revere athletes. 

    “Some of the kids that aren’t involved in a lot of clubs but have decent GPAs and want to play in college could build up their resumes, if they’re not in National Honors Society or Key Club … they have something to put on their resumes,” Seeker said. 

Wido emphasized the importance of togetherness between the different sports and hopes R Club is a good way for students to show what it means to be a Varsity athlete. 

“It’s just a leadership character class for kids and I think we do have a lot of our student athletes that care about that and care how we compete and care how we represent ourselves and how we represent Revere,” Wido said.