Scharf lends 7 years to Y hoops

Lead­ers of the pack

The Covington News - - SPORTS - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

A look at the coaches and vol­un­teers of New­ton’s recre­ation scene

For seven years, Jon Scharf has been head­ing to the Cov­ing­ton Y to help dozens of New­ton County’s young­sters learn sports­man­ship, dis­ci­pline, bas­ket­ball and how to have fun.

He re­cently en­tered an­other sea­son; this time, lead­ing to teams at the Sharp Gym, mak­ing it team No.s 10 and 11.

“I en­joy watch­ing the kids learn the game and have fun,” Scharf said. “It’s an op­por­tu­nity

See Scharf, 2B

to teach some kids things about dis­ci­pline, sports­man­ship, hard work and ef­fort in a way that they en­joy. They get a lot more out of it other than bas­ket­ball, and it’s fun to watch the kids grow like that.”

Scharf be­gan coach­ing when his old­est son An­drew, now 13, de­cided to start play­ing. Scharf had coached An­drew on his soc­cer team and was ready to take on the chal­lenge of bas­ket­ball. Since then, he hasn’t looked back coach­ing all three of his chil­dren.

An­drew has moved on to mid­dle school bas­ket­ball, but Han­nah, 9, and Malachi, 6, are now play­ing at the Y for their fa­ther.

Scharf played bas­ket­ball him­self, both in high school in Mil­wau­kee and at North­west­ern, where he went to col­lege for two years be­fore go­ing to Martin Luther Col- lege. He coached foot­ball at North­west­ern some and ref­er­eed bas­ket­ball, but it wasn’t un­til An­drew got the bas­ket­ball bug that Jon Scharf be­gan what has been a ca­reer of its own at the Y.

When he’s not min­is­ter­ing as pas­tor at Abid­ing Grace Lutheran Church, Scharf is help­ing young bas­ket­ball play­ers learn how to drib­ble, shoot, pass and play to­gether. That’s the mo­ments he en­joys the most, when his play­ers learn how to do things the right way and to­gether.

“The best times are when you see plays that you put in and they ex­e­cute like they’re sup­posed to and they get all ex­cited be­cause they make five passes and put it in the bucket,” Scharf said. “That’s one of the coolest things as a coach — to see that they’re get­ting it and on the same page.

“For the real lit­tle ones, it’s when some­one makes a bas­ket and they’re jump­ing around ex­cited.”

He has also been with sev­eral play­ers for mul­ti­ple years as par­ents re­quest the Y for Jon Scharf as their chil­dren’s coach.

“There has been two play­ers who I had for the first four years and an­other the last three, and it’s fun to watch them get bet­ter each year,” Scharf said. “With the Y, it usu­ally ends up be­ing kids who don’t have a whole lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in bas­ket­ball and ev­ery year, there seems to be a few who are learn­ing the game for the first time. It’s nice to see kids who know the game.”

Bryan Fazio /The Cov­ing­ton News

Jon Scharf leads one of his Cov­ing­ton Y teams in prac­tice at Sharp Gym on Thurs­day.

Bryan Fazio /The Cov­ing­ton News

Jon Scharf leads one of his Cov­ing­ton Y teams in drib­bling drills at Sharp gym Thurs­day.

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