Kolesnik takes over Vikings’ softball program
Many South Tahoe High softball players won’t need a formal introduction to new coach Steve Kolesnik. They have played for Kolesnik during summer softball and in other sports.
Kolesnik officially became the Vikings’ softball coach on Tuesday when his hiring was approved by Lake Tahoe Unified School District.
“The girls know Steve Kolesnik’s softball background,” said STHS Athletic Director Don Borges. “Steve has experience working with high school kids. He’s been working with them in the offseason, plus the last few weeks he has done Kahle workouts, softball-related.”
Kolesnik succeeds Anneliese Neitling, who resigned in the offseason. Three candidates applied for the position, according to Borges.
“I’ve coached most of the kids with the Tahoe Smoke, and I’m very familiar with all of the players,” Kolesnik said. “I’m very excited.”
For the past 10 years Kolesnik has been a visible youth coach in the community. Kolesnik coached in the South Tahoe Little League for five years and spent five years coaching youths in basketball before stepping up to high school level. In 2006, Kolesnik coached the STHS JV girls’ basketball team, and he directed the 2007 STHS JV softball team.
Interest in the South Tahoe program was evident during a recent informational meeting. Kolesnik said 38 girls attended the meeting and four others contacted him afterward.
“So far, the interest has been beyond my expectations. There should be a good turnout for tryouts,” Kolesnik said.
Kolesnik is looking forward to his part in the burgeoning STHS-Whittell softball rivalry.
“I have ties to Whittell and love both schools, but right now the blood is running blue,” said Kolesnik, whose son, T.J., is a senior at Whittell.
Kolesnik said that Whittell softball coach Rich Barna wrote a letter of recommendation for him.
“It’s going to be a good rivalry,” Kolesnik said.