Alumni Spartan With Great Achievement
October 16, 2012 by Ty Roder
Sara Andolsek has thrived in the TJ Community with athletics and would like to give support back to students.
Born on August 27, 1980 in Denver, Colorado, TJ Para-professional and Soccer Coach Sara Andolsek had a bright future that she didn’t even know was possible. Andolsek grew up in Denver, Colorado, to Bill and Maddie Andolsek. Through elementary and middle school she attended St. Vincent De Paul, a local catholic school. During her youth she played basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
In 1994, Andolsek decided to attend Thomas Jefferson High School, her home school. At TJ Sara participated in the Computer Magnet program, DECA, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and the dance team, along with being the kicker on the football team. Sara was the first female to ever be a kicker for a boys’ football team in DPS. This was a great honor for Sara, as she had the boot that many boys wished they had.
Andolsek described her experience at TJ as unimaginable. “I loved all the sports and made many friends at TJ. My friends and my experiences were the primary reason I decided to come back. I wouldn’t coach at any other school other than TJ,” she said.
Sara became the head girls’ varsity soccer coach in the spring of 2006 after achieving her degree in Photography and Video at The Art Institute of Colorado. Andolsek said she ran into Jon Poole, the head boys’ varsity soccer coach and A.P. Government teacher, and came to find they were in search for someone to fill in the position. The fall of that year, Poole offered Sara the head boys’ JV coaching job, which she accepted. “I really enjoy working with all the girls. I try to give them the same experience that my high school coach gave me, and it’s easy to communicate with them since I know where they’re coming from,” said Andolsek about the girls’ soccer program. “The boys are really fun to be around as they always want to learn something new, and are there for their love of the game,” she said.
Andolsek’s love for TJ and the Spartan community led to an opportunity to work at TJ full-time. Sara has her own photography company, which she passionately pursues during the summer. Living in Colorado, the winters can be quite harsh and conditions unbearable. For this reason Sara took the Special Education Para-professional job in the fall of 2011 to have throughout the school year.
Many students have expressed their keen interest in Andolsek’s personality and attitude towards soccer. “My first impression of Coach Andolsek was that she was very nice and welcomed all of the freshmen to the team quite well. Over the past three years I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I would. She isn’t a negative coach. She always says positive things and is a genuine person on and off the field,” said Senior Varsity Soccer Captain Rachel Uyemura.
Many young students have also related quite well to Coach Andolsek and her vibrant personality. “I have learned a lot under Coach Andolsek. Coach Poole being the JV coach for girls communicates quite well with Sara. She is more on the skill side of coaching and Poole deals with the mental aspect. Their coaching styles complement each other quite well,” stated Sophomore Sabrina Kohrt.
With six years under her belt coaching the girls’ team, and five with the boys’ JV team, one can say she is quite experienced in the coaching field. “Andolsek is wonderful and very nice. We work well together and she is very respectful and professional,” said Assistant Varsity and JV coach for both the boys’ and girls’ team, Marcelino Yantas.
Andolsek was quite the standout student when she attended TJ and has thrived in the community helping students every day. The intelligence she brings from her experience playing at TJ makes her the ideal sports coach, as she can relate to students and what they go through. Her supportive nature has increased both the boys’ and girls’ soccer numbers each year. In 2011, it was the first time in quite a while that the boys’ were able to fill three teams. The 2011 season brought great success to Andolsek and the boys’ varsity soccer team. It was the first time in eight years that the team won the DPS 4A championship.
Her attitude and perseverance has made Sara Andolsek an icon at TJ, and she hopes for an even brighter future with soccer and in her career.