August 31st, 2017

Hyland's Heroes: Eddie Terkhorn

Staff Report


Hyland's Heroes: Eddie Terkhorn
Eddie Terkhorn and family / photo from Facebook

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. If you have a suggestion for Hyland’s Heroes, feel free to email Conor Revell (crevell@catholicsportsnet.com).

Eddie Terkhorn is this week’s Hyland Insurance Hero and is a member of Sacred Heart-Jeffersonville and coaches the Southern Indiana Catholic cross country team.

When and how did you get your start with the athletic program?

Six years ago, my oldest son was in first grade when we found out that he could run cross country. I had a lot of experience in running Cross Country when I was younger and couldn't believe that we had the opportunity to run at such an early age. We immediately signed him up. As the season went on, we found out that the long-time coach for the program was stepping down after 17 years of coaching. As my son was having a blast and loving every minute of it, I told my wife, I was going to volunteer to coach the following season. But in order for this sport to be a success, we needed to grow the program. There were only 22 kids running that first year. That was kids from the first grade to eighth grade boys and girls combined, with about 17 of those kids girls.

The biggest thing with cross country on our side of the river is that the catholic schools are so small compared to those in Louisville. We don't have the numbers at any school to form one cross country team. The 22 kids that ran that first year were divided up amongst five schools. There weren't enough kids in each age group to form a team in those age groups. For two seasons, my son stood at the start line by himself. He and I learned a lot about each other those two years. There were a lot of nerves, lots of father and son time at the start line. But in order for this to grow, my wife and I needed to go into the schools and hand out flyers and encourage other kids to give it a try. We knew once they came out; saw what it was about, we would have no problem growing the cross country program. So with that said, that first year I coached, we went from 22 kids to 57 kids. Most schools that combine go under one school name and call it a day, but I didn't think that was fair to my kids. We were, of course, comprised of kids from five Catholic schools. So while we are associated with Sacred Heart Catholic School in Jeffersonville, I didn't think it was fair for another kid from a different Catholic school to have to run under the name of Sacred Heart Catholic. Thus, Southern Indiana Catholic Cross Country was formed, much in the same way our Deanery has to combine and go under one name for wrestling, tennis, and football. This is my fifth year of coaching the program. We had record 81 kids come out this year! This program has grown more than I imagined in five years.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

At a very young age, my faith has taught me to give back to the community. We pray before every meet. Lots of times I write out prayers for each age group and assign kids to memorize it and give the prayer to their teammates. We teach faith, integrity and teamwork. Our faith teaches us that it's not always about winning and losing, but setting your own personal goals, whatever they may be. At the end of every race, you will see my kids going back through the finish line shaking kids hands that came in before or after them. Every kid that is out there deserves praise and a pat on the back.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

Probably my mom and dad. I mean both, at a very young age, were involved in everything I did. Driving me countless miles to be at an event, volunteering to coach anything and everything from baseball, to football to basketball. Volunteering on numerous school function committees. Anything that I wanted to do or be involved in, both were there and still are there for me to this day. We host a Southern Indiana Catholic Cross Country Invitational every year and my dad drives over an hour down to our meet and brings his ATV to the race so we have a rabbit for the kids to run behind. So he is still volunteering.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

The mission of S.I.C. Cross Country is to serve all of the Catholic youth of the New Albany Deanery, helping them develop not only as athletes but to grow in their Catholic faith. We are committed to providing opportunities for our athletes to develop strong morals, self-esteem, and leadership qualities through cross country.

What does your role bring your family?

It makes us extremely busy from July to November. We are constantly on the go. We started with my oldest, he is now in the sixth grade, we have our youngest son at age four, now out there running in practice. My wife keeps us all in line. She keeps track of all the paperwork; she does all the grunt work to make it possible for me to coach all of these kids. There are days where she goes to practice, makes sure she has physical forms from every kid, answers all the questions from parents, still goes home before my sons and I get back and dinner is waiting on us, and lunches packed for the next day. She is basically the rock of our family that makes all of this work.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

I have several fantastic memories from this experience but I would say the first meet that my oldest ever ran in has always stood out the most to me. We were running at Holy Cross, we were told that it is a great first race to run in. It's not that big of race but a great first race to get your feet wet at. Keep in mind, I ran cross country through high school, but that was a long time ago. Back when I was running, in the late 80s, early 90s, when you went to a meet, you basically had busses of teams and a few parents. You ran, when you finished, got on the bus and then stopped on the way home to get something to eat as a team. So my expectations on what was not a very big race, weren't that high. So when we showed up to Holy Cross, my six year old son in the back seat, they were parking cars across the street because the parking lot at Holy Cross High School was already packed. My wife looked at me and asked, "I thought this wasn't a very big race? What do the big races look like?" I quietly looked at her and said, "I don't know if he is nervous back there, but I am about to throw up for him!" I was so nervous for him and the entire team and then ended up standing at the start line with him. I gave him a prayer, he looked at me and said, "daddy, I am nervous, I don't think I can do this." I said you are more than ready to do this, just get out and go, I’ll be waiting for you at the end" and the rest is history. Six years later, he is still running and that particular race is my favorite race of the year, for that reason.

 

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