Past players return to coach at alma mater


By Quinn Delehanty, Sports Editor

By Quinn Delehanty ’19

As a student athlete, you look up to your coach and you listen to what they have to say. Some teachers in West Essex had their coworkers as coaches when they attended as a high school student. Coach Jill Cosse once coached Coach Bettina Plesnitzer. Coach Ryan Logan played under Coach Chris Benacquista. Now, they are coaching alongside each other, in the process creating close bonds.

Years before Coach Plesnitzer became a coach, she was a field hockey and lacrosse player under Coach Cosse.

“What’s really great is the consistency of expectations for your athletes,” Cosse said. “She was my captain in both field hockey and lacrosse here and went on to play in college so she knows the devotion and passion it takes to be a West Essex athlete.”
Ms. Plesnitzer was a beloved player on and off the field. Cosse said she trusted her to do as she said and knew she would exceed expectations.

“I wear my expectations on my sleeve and in my heart,” Cosse said.
They have chemistry and history, making their relationship coaching their team stronger than if a new coach was brought in. They know their differences and similarities as coaches and people, helping them get the best out of each other and their team.

“I think they really understand each other and are comfortable enough with each other to still say how they feel, even if they disagree, which is really good,” senior captain Devyn Aschenbach said. “Their relationship helps us succeed.”

The girls appreciate how close their coaches are and love hearing stories from when Cosse coached Plesnitzer.

Throughout the years of coaching at West Essex, Cosse’s coaching habits have stayed the same. She continues to grow and adapt to the type of team she has, but stays consistent.

“I still feel the same values hold true and as female athletes where there is no professional level to get to, I still try and instill the value of hard work, discipline, love and care of your teammates and passion through play,” Cosse said.

There is a similar situation between Coach Benacquista and Mr. Logan. Benacquista was Logan’s football coach when he was in high school.

“It’s a great part of this job to see players you helped mentor grow up and follow in your footsteps as a coach,” Benacquista said.
The two have been able to work off of each other since Coach Logan was in high school, and they understand each others coaching style more than anyone else.

“So much of what I have learned about coaching comes from my time with Coach Benacquista,” Logan said.

Going from coaching a player to coaching side by side with them has made both of these relationships stronger and have benefitted their teams greatly. The students here at West Essex look up to their coaches as role models. Seeing coaches unite and share a bond inspires a team to want to do the same thing, creating a friendship just as strong.