New faces on the field 


Sam Ford

Jeff Gurecki coaching cross-country tryouts on Aug. 8th. Gurecki has been the cross-country coach and is now taking on the challenge of being the head girls track coach in the spring.

This year, five new coaches are joining a team or have a new coaching position.

Jeff Gurecki, who has been coaching cross country and distance track, will now be the head girls track coach. Nathan Harder, who has been coaching girls golf, will also be softball’s head coach this year. Kete Meskill was the girls’ assistant soccer coach and is now the head coach. Brian Broderick was baseball’s pitching coach and is now the team’s head coach. Lastly, Joseph Ortiz is the new head football coach. 

Each coach was interviewed to introduce themselves and see what their plans are for their teams. 

Question: What is your background in your sport? 

Gurecki: “[I am the] longest serving member of all of Perry track staff. [I have been] coaching track since 2015: mostly distance, first year of more than just distance.” 

Harder: I’ve been around the game of baseball my whole life, and my daughter started playing softball five years ago. While the sports are similar, they are also very different. I fell in love with softball and have really just tried to become a sponge and soak up any little piece of strategy and knowledge of the game as I could. I’ve helped coach a club softball team for a while, and I was the varsity assistant here at Perry last year.”   

Meskill: “So I have been coaching club soccer for over 12 years now, and then I have been coaching high school soccer for what will be my tenth year.” 

Broderick: “I have been playing baseball since I was five years old. I played high school baseball at Washington High School, college baseball at Mesa Community College for two years, then Grand Canyon University for a year, and then got drafted in the 21st round by the Cardinals, played professionally for nine [years], and then made it to the big leagues with the National team in 2011. I finally retired from professional baseball in 2016.” 

Ortiz: “I went to Saint Mary’s high school in Phoenix where I played high school football. Then I got into coaching right out of high school at Saint Mary’s. Then I became the offensive coach at Higley, then I got the head coaching position at Cactus High School, then after four years there I was lucky enough to get the job here at Perry.” 

Question: What are you looking for in players? 

Gurecki: “Dedication, disciple, willing to work hard, and building a team of family.” 

Harder: “We are just looking for our player to be where their feet are and be present in the moment. When they walk through the gates, it’s time to compete. Competition eliminates complacency, so they have to find a way to finish the season strong, compete every day, and not get comfortable midway through the season. I think we have a good group, and they will be able to do that.”   

Meskill: “It’s important that they put themselves as students first, they are student athletes, so students always come first. Making sure they are good kids within the school and the community. And then from there the skill and the talent of a player, but always character first.” 

Broderick: “Hardwork and attitude are the biggest ones. Those are the couple things that you can control on your own. Coming out here giving your best work, effort and having a good attitude. I know things are tough but when you come in here and have a good attitude it’s going to be a good day at practice.” 

Ortiz: “To play hard and have fun, just go out there and give everything you got. Just go out there, play hard and have a good time.” 

Question: What goals do you have for your team? 

Gurecki: “More athletes participating, growing the team, hopefully stay top 10 in the state.” 

Harder: “The goal for our team is to just go out and compete everyday and get a little bit better than you were the day before. Ultimately, we want to win and compete for a state championship but do it the right way. What we do as a program matters, but more importantly how we do it matters even more. We have to go out and win each day, and at the end of the season hopefully we will be where we expect to be.”

Meskill: “The goal of the program is to try and achieve the championship within the state, always make it to the final game. But in the overall program I am looking for player growth as well as personal growth as well as their skill development. If they are coming in as a freshman then by the time they leave as a senior they are a vastly different person.” 

Broderick: “The goal pretty much is just getting better every day at a time, and continuing to succeed. I have a bit younger of a team this year; we graduated 15 seniors last year, so getting these boys to buy into what we are trying to do here.”  

Ortiz: “Our goal is just to take everything day by day just to improve. Then win game one then win game two and just go in that order not look ahead. Take it day by day.” 

Question: Is there anything you would like to accomplish as a coach? 

Gurecki:For athletes to remember their time here at Perry as kids to young adults, share life  experiences on and off the track.”

Harder: “The number one thing I’d like to accomplish as the Head softball coach is winning over the hearts and minds of our players. If we can do that as coaches and build those positive relationships with our players, great things will happen on the field. We want our girls to feel comfortable enough out on the field where they can give 100% effort and not worry about making a mistake.”

Meskill: “Always to win. That’s why you coach: to win. You want to win as much as possible. But most importantly as well is to make sure we send these kids up for success when they look to go onto college whether it’s to be a student or as a player trying to make a soccer program.” 

Broderick: “Definitely winning a state championship here would be awesome, bring the first one to Perry High School. That would be the ultimate goal. But the biggest goal is teaching these kids how to become better people. That’s what I really want to do as a high school student. If they leave here playing baseball or going to get a job, I want them to be better people.” 

Ortiz: “I would like to make sure all the kids I coach are good men and are leaders. And after that, the winning takes care of itself. Everyone wants to win championships, but there are other more important things.” 

As sports are starting their season or pre-season the new coaches are prepared to take on their new role and accomplish their goals with a new team.