During a pause from sports due to COVID-19, get to know the coaches of Vermillion High School athletics.
Lenni Billberg is the VHS Track & Field head coach in the spring season. Billberg also teaches high school social studies.
“I have been participating or coaching in track and field since I was a sixth-grader,” said Billberg. “I don't know that my life would be complete without it.”
Billberg said this is a sport with places for anybody.
“It allows for individual success, yet it still fosters a strong team connection,” said Billberg. “Whether it be a relay or distance runner supporting jumpers, or the entire team racing back and forth cheering on the 4x400. Track is simply the everything sport.”
She has numerous memories that bring laughs, smiles, and tears of pride when looking back at her years of coaching.
“Some of my favorite memories come from impromptu mini meets after our meet had been canceled,” said Billberg. “Each of the athletes got to choose four out of six events that the entire team competed in.”
The improvised mini meets gave athletes the chance to compete in something new while having fun outside their comfort levels.
“Athletes competing here have had all of us bent over laughing so hard tears flowed down our cheeks,” said Billberg. “There is nothing better than bringing us all together.”
Billberg has missed some aspects of athletics because of the pandemic but acknowledges how the cancelation created more opportunities for families to connect.
“We are all missing the camaraderie of sports, the chance to make oneself better, the fun had at practice, and the deep friendships formed in sport,” said Billberg. “We all need connection, competition, and the thrill of racing down the final straightaway.