Local Coach ‘Comes Home’ To Warren Hills

Anthony Bonelli, sports blogger and statistician, is a baseball and basketball coach at Warren Hills High School. Photo courtesy of Anthony Bonelli.

By Anthony Bonelli

Think about this scenario: You and your family go on vacation for two weeks, and although it was nice to be away the first thing you say when you walk in to your front door is “It is good to be home.”

Every one of us has done this at least once, including me.

As I embark on my third year of coaching, the phrase ‘it is good to be home’ is resounding in my head. I am a proud alumnus of Warren Hills Regional High School Class of 2007. It is now eight years later, and on Nov. 23 I returned to my home on Jackson Valley Road.

Have you ever gotten a feeling that something just felt right? Well that is the feeling I got when I accepted a coaching position with the Warren Hills Girls’ Basketball Program.

I inquired about being a member of the staff in June, and interviewed for a position shortly after my inquiry. I will never forget the day I interviewed; it was an early Tuesday morning, and as I went into the parking lot I felt a strange feeling.

My usual routine when I go to Warren Hills is to drive up to the baseball field because I am a member of the baseball coaching staff, as well. Usually when I go into the gym during baseball season I am a little irritated, because that means we cannot practice on the baseball field due to inclement weather, or the field conditions. That being said, when this occurred I never appreciated the fact that I was patrolling around the building I once called home.

This time was different; as I made my way to the gym, I felt a sense of comfort because I was in a familiar place. I went into the gym and immediately looked up at the wall where all of the championship banners that the Warren Hills’ athletic programs have earned are hanging. Once I did this I felt a sense of pride come over me because it finally hit me that I was possibly coming home to coach two sports and to me that was special.

In order to be a successful team, all members of that team must share the same vision; if the team does not share the same vision it will be very difficult for that team to be successful. After watching a very intense workout and speaking with Head Coach Meghan McGeehan, it was clear to me, but not surprising, that it was time to come home!

Prior to the beginning of every season that I coach I like to dedicate the upcoming season to someone who is no longer with us physically, but I know his or her spirit is always with me. Anyone who knows me, and knows about what the Warren Hills’ community has had to endure over the past two months, knows that I am going to dedicate the 2015 Warren Hills Girls’ Basketball and Baseball seasons to none other than Evan Murray.

Coaches sometimes have to make tough decisions, and while I am sure I am going to have to voice my opinion about how we should handle certain situations as a staff, this decision was by far the easiest decision I have ever made as a coach! #18Strong #BlueStreakStrong.

It is definitely good to be home!

Anthony Bonelli is a 2007 graduate of Warren Hills High School who has returned to coach baseball and girls’ basketball at his alma mater. His childhood dream was to either be a sports journalist or the host of “The Price Is Right.” He hasn’t gotten the call from CBS yet, so until then, his work can be read on his blog.

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