High School Sports

Three Merced-area coaches named section Model Coach winners

Merced head football coach Rob Scheidt has been named one of six Sac-Joaquin Section Model Coach Award winners.
Merced head football coach Rob Scheidt has been named one of six Sac-Joaquin Section Model Coach Award winners. akuhn@mercedsun-star.com

Rob Scheidt tries to create a family atmosphere with his football teams at Merced High School. The Bears coach is great at developing personal relationships with his players and often has his teams over at his house for team-bonding events.

The success on the field is hard to argue.

In his 21 years as the Merced High coach, the Bears have a 144-83 record, winning eight Central California Conference championships.

Scheidt’s success and the time he’s devoted off the field to helping students was recognized by the Sac-Joaquin Section as one of six to receive a Model Coach Award, honoring role models in schools and communities.

Since 2001, the section has honored three male and three female coaches annually with the award. This year, Los Banos’ Lynn Barcellos and Hilmar’s Catherine Mendes were also named model coaches. They joined Turlock’s Mary Krupka, Sierra’s Manuel Pires and Sacramento Waldorf’s Dean Stark.

“Obviously it’s a huge honor,” Scheidt said. “A lot of it has to do with the school I am at, the support I am given and the community here that supports all of it.”

Away from football, Scheidt has been a youth development leader in Young Life for the last four years. Young Life is a countywide multicultural ministry for children. He’s also been a part of Bears Give Back, which is a community service group led by Merced High athletes.

“If you’re in it just to win football games, you’re really missing the point,” Scheidt said. “When I got into this, it was to be a part of a community and to be a part of kids’ lives. A lot of these kids are done with football after four years, and they have a lot more to share than football. I want to be a part of it.”

“The best way for me to convey my admiration, respect and reverence for coach Scheidt is, if I could choose one coach to mentor my son and teach him character, competition ... and above all else, pursuing victory with honor, it would be, without a doubt, Rob Scheidt,” Merced principal Jon Schaefer said.

Each of the Model Coach Award winners will be presented a plaque and a lifetime Sac-Joaquin Section pass at an awards breakfast in Lodi on April 25.

To date, 98 coaches have received the award, including local honorees Angelo Naldi (Livingston), Roddy Svendsen (Atwater) and Matt Thissen (Golden Valley).

Mendes and Stark are the CIF State Model Coach Award honorees from the section and will be honored at a state championship event.

Mendes coached basketball at Hilmar for 30 years and spent 26 years coaching volleyball. She also coached softball and track and field for several years. She’s still coaching the Yellowjackets junior varsity volleyball team and has led them to three consecutive Trans-Valley League championships.

She has transitioned to the middle school and continues to coach.

“That’s just who Ms. Mendes is – she answers the call,” said former Hilmar principal and current Merced Union High School District Superintendent Alan Peterson. “She’s paved the way in Hilmar for all female athletes, fought for them, taught them and demanded their best.”

Barcellos has coached girls tennis at Los Banos for 22 years and boys tennis for 20 years. Her girls teams have made the playoffs 20 times and the boys teams have reached the postseason 10 times.

“I just found out,” Barcellos said. “I was excited. It’s an honor. I’m just really thankful for everyone who has sent a congratulatory text or message saying it’s well deserved. It’s a good feeling all the effort you put in is noticed. It still hasn’t sunk in.

“It’s been very rewarding. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love to coach and didn’t love the kids. It’s allowed me to coach my own kids and their friends.”

Barcellos has been named the Coach of the Year 13 times and has won 20 league championships.

The Tigers girls team has a league winning streak of 87 consecutive matches.

Barcellos has been a Los Banos Teachers Association building rep for 15 years, a position that helps the new teachers learn the area and understand their new school.

“I feel Lynn is more than deserving for a Model Coach Award,” said Los Banos athletic director Joseph Barcellos, who is Lynn’s husband. “Beyond the individual accolades, she has sent several players on to colleges, has taken girls to the section’s Women in Sports Conference and she is well respected in the area’s tennis circles.”

Shawn Jansen: 209-385-2462, @MSSsports