New coaches have immediate impact


Football coach Sterling Thornton helps call the plays during the varsity game. Thornton also is the special teams coordinator for the freshman and junior varsity levels.

  With the pandemic affecting much, certain sports that are typically “fall” sports were scheduled in the spring of 2021. We have welcomed five new coaches for fall sports this year, in the first “normal” fall sports season since the beginning of the pandemic. 

  Sterling High School hired football coach Sterling Thornton who played football while he was in high school. He was looking forward to the same group of coaches that ran the program from when he was in high school as he had already learned a lot from them. Thornton mentioned, “I knew how the community supported football and the culture that Coach Schlemmer and his staff have built and I wanted to be a part of that.”

  The poms team was also looking for a new coach, so they turned to long-term substitute teacher Jennifer Thueson. This is her first time coaching high school poms. She was a cheerleader and dancer in high school, and she even took dance classes in college. Thueson stated, “Dance is an expression of art as well as an aerobic activity. I wanted to coach to help the girls build self confidence and increase their dancing ability.” 

  Maggie Bailey has been passed the torch to lead the cheer team. Bailey did poms in high school and went on to coach junior tackle cheer for five years. One of her goals for the cheer program is to hopefully restructure the program, while also managing and mentoring the girls at the same time. 

  Cross country is another sport that gained a new coach. This is Challand Middle School teacher’s Megan Grady’s first coaching opportunity, but we are excited to have her. She ran at Amboy High School and then at St. Ambrose University for four years in college. She mentioned, “In high school, I had to run against Sterling a couple of times and I always admired how great of a program they had.” Grady is excited to see what the future holds for the team that is now in her hands. 

  A 2020 graduate, Zoe Ryan, decided to take on a coaching job. She coached girls’ diving for the first time this year. She participated in diving her freshman and sophomore year of high school. While also coaching gymnastics, she mentioned, “Diving seemed to be my next step as a coach.” 

  Sterling High School is excited to welcome these new coaches into their programs with sports seasons being much more normal. These new faces will bring much needed change to Sterling High School athletics.