16:48 PM

Co-op Coaches Who Care

As a cooperative, Jackson EMC embraces the principle of concern for the community. Jackson EMC employees serve as coaches to students throughout north Georgia in various sports, from soccer to basketball and others in between. 

Many Jackson EMC employees who coach said they decided to serve as coaches based on childhood experiences. Some remembered the positive effect a coach had on their lives; for others, it was the lack of a coach or opportunity. And for some, their own child’s involvement influenced them to get involved. 

Line Foreman Craig Etris remembers when his son was four years old playing YMCA baseball. “They thought they had a coach, but it turned out they didn’t. So, I became the head coach,” Craig said.

Craig loved baseball and relished teaching children how to play the game. His coaching career continued when his son moved to a Hall County recreation team and then to a travel ball team. “My son is 12 now. He’s still playing travel ball, and I’m still coaching—loving every minute of it,” he said. 

Jennifer Fennell, District Manager, Gwinnett, has a deep history and love of soccer. “I love the game,” said Jennifer, who played soccer for 15 years and became a referee at the age of 14. After coaching recreational soccer for many years, she started coaching at the Gwinnett Soccer Academy when she had children. 

“Playing in the pandemic year of 2020 created a challenging season,” said Jennifer, “but all the children were excited to get back on the field.” 

Hillary Corey, Recruiting Specialist, saw coaching soccer and basketball as an opportunity to invest in the lives of young girls and offer them the same opportunities she was given.

“Playing sports taught me so much about perseverance, work ethic, and discipline,” she said. “I am forever grateful to the many coaches who spent their time and effort coaching me.” 

Hillary said serving as a coach reminds her what is important in life. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle. Life is about relationships, and coaching allows me to focus on those relationships,” said Hillary.