By Marleld Duran
Last year, Ryan Kammerman was teaching middle school in Koreatown, Los Angeles. This year, Kammerman is not only teaching history at a high school, but he is also coaching the boys cross country team as well.
After finishing college, Kammerman became a student teacher at Compton High School, later becoming an official teacher at Yung Oak Kim Academy.
He primarily wanted to teach at a high school within the Los Angeles area, and because Kammerman had been running cross country since high school, he was also looking to coach the sport. As soon as the coaching position for the boys cross country team opened up, “[Gabrielino] was the perfect place and everything kind of fell into place.”
Having approximately 140 history students may have been overwhelming, but so was coaching for the very first time. His main concern towards his athletes was being able to take care of all 46 of them since one or two get injuries daily.
However, after adjusting and getting to know his athletes, he now knows what to look for in an injury, and understands how to plan out the workouts and weekly routines.
“I had some doubts about having a new coach and having to start over, but it’s been pretty good [having him here],” stated Jayson Espinosa, junior. “His coaching [reminds me of how James] Marnell used to coach.”
Kammerman watched his athletes’ first race of the season at the Rosemead Invitational on Sept. 9. He was excited to watch the freshmen and sophomore races because those grade levels contain many new runners.
“I can cheer and root for them, but when it comes to race day I’m there for support,” Kammerman said.
This year, the sophomore group won first place overall at the invitational, making Kammerman excited to see how the varsity team will do their last two Mission Valley League races.
On Sept. 14, the boys varsity and JV cross country teams came in second at their first league race of the season.
Kammerman knew that it would be challenging to beat Arroyo High School (AHS). However, he believes his runners are capable of beating AHS and winning league.
“It was nice to start running again daily [with my runners] and getting to know them and their personalities,” said Kammerman. “I think you get a little closer with your athletes than you do with your students because you spend more time with them and it’s also […] a smaller setting.”