Congratulations to Coach Casi Jarma who was awarded the 2020 Boy’s Cross Country Coach of the Year Award. However, Coach Jarma responded, “This was a bit of a weird year — although I am technically the head Cross Country coach, because of a new job I had to move to a more advisory capacity when September hit and leave the day-to-day to my assistant Cymany Skousen. I’ve asked her to accept the award because she’s been running the program while I’ve only been able to come a few days a week to practice and attend a few meets.”
Coach Cymany Skousen about receiving this award
Coach Skousen continued, “My coaching started at Heritage Academy Mesa this season as a volunteer. Casi started a new job which led to me taking over the day-to-day coaching responsibilities due to her schedule. Having Casi as a mentor and her knowledge of cross country was critical in my new role and helped facilitate the transition of coaching responsibilities. It has been a unique situation and gratefully it has worked to the benefit of the athletes and the team.”
This award was completely unexpected! In her opinion, it wasn’t earned by one person, but as a team with both her and Casi. We absolutely love the athletes and I put my heart and soul not only into coaching cross country but also helping our athletes to apply what they are learning in cross country to life. She continued by saying that this award is humbling and is a true result of the heart of their athletes! Each team member worked hard and they gave it their all, and each exemplified true sportsmanship by encouraging each other and their teammates. I couldn’t be prouder of them!
Her best advice to her athletes
The best advice that I give the athletes is to do their best, whatever doing their best means each day. She teaches them that success isn’t necessarily winning, but doing their best everyday will turn into winning within themselves. Meaning that giving their best and working consistently is the key to success, and winning could be a byproduct of their efforts. If they don’t win, their season is still successful. It can be a hard concept for the athletes at times when they are so competitive and want to win. We also have a lot of fun and the athletes enjoy the time they get to run with each other.
Her goals for next year
Goals for next year are to continue to strengthen their team culture, by accepting all team members, encouraging each other, hard work, excellence, and character. Each athlete makes a goal at the beginning of the season. When you have a foundation to continue to build upon, it creates momentum for next season.