Prep diving

Valpo alum Valpatic takes over diving programs

2012-12-26T18:30:00Z 2012-12-27T01:26:04Z Valpo alum Valpatic takes over diving programsJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
December 26, 2012 6:30 pm  • 

After diving for Valparaiso High School in the late 1980s, Scott Valpatic relished the chance to be the head coach at his alma mater.

He's now in his first season as the boys and girls diving coach for the Vikings, but it's hardly the ideal situation for the 1988 graduate.

Longtime coach Bill Chappo resigned from his post the past offseason after budget cuts forced the elimination of one of the two diving positions. Valpatic, the assistant at Valparaiso for the past nine years, took over, and now he's running both programs by himself.

"It's difficult; I would've worked as an assistant for free," admitted Valpatic, who previously coached at Portage for nine seasons. "Chappo did what he had to do.

"I have mixed feelings. I'm not totally happy with what happened."

But Valpatic also wanted to be there for his divers, especially seniors Muyenda Burnett and Zach Schwartz, who placed second and 18th, respectively, at last year's state meet. Valpatic worked with both divers the past two seasons.

"It's just a matter of keeping them motivated," Valpatic said. "I already have a rapport with them, and that helps."

The same can't be said for the girls divers. Valpatic worked more with the boys divers as an assistant. He's worked a little with senior Khalela El-Naggar, who has qualified for state the last two seasons.

"I've trained a little with her in the past, but not to the extent with the boys," Valpatic said. "It's not as big of a deal. She's kind of in maintenance mode. It's just a matter of getting prepared mentally."

El-Naggar, who has verbally committed to Illinois for college diving, doesn't feeling this coaching change holds her back.

"It wasn't a hard transition," she said. "He's really particular with details, and that's a good fit for both of us."

Besides, the boys divers don't seem to have a problem splitting time with Valpatic.

"He already knows what I can do, so I don't feel as much pressure," said Burnett, who has committed to Iowa Lake Community College. "I kind of already know what I have to do."

Valpatic works with nine divers (three boys, six girls), and he admits that can be a daunting task at times.

"It's been challenging," Valpatic said. "I love it. Each kid you work with is a puzzle. You have to figure out what motivates them. A lot of things are built on precise movements, and different people do them differently."

Chappo remains supportive of Valpatic, believing that one of his former divers is up to the task.

"The whole purpose of bringing Scott back to the program was that he could be the head coach at some point," Chappo said. "He's got a lot of his own ideas. He can handle it -- that's what he did at Portage. He'll find a way to get quality out of all of them."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses