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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 25, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: More than just a coach

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By Donavin Wenger, Xavier H.S.

CEDAR RAPIDS – Three sports, teaching classes and taking care of his two kids.  Russell Camacho handles it all.

“I always enjoy going to Mr. Camacho’s class because he is so enthusiastic, which helps me to pay attention and learn well,” sophomore Zander Jones said.

Camacho has been a teacher at Xavier High School for 13 years, teaching level five Basic Concepts of Science, level seven Basic Concepts of Science and Honors Chemistry.

Camacho has been more than just a teacher at Xavier, however. He has been the head coach of three sports –  sophomore football, boys’ and girls’ bowling and boys’ and girls’ track.

“I really liked how motivational he was,” sophomore Mitchell Young said. “He made me want to get better and work hard.

Camacho’s success as a coach has brought him two state championships, two state runner-up finishes and many more individual state champions. His success also has earned him the 2007-2008 Iowa Coach of the Year award in track.

Camacho also is a mentor. Being a coach, a father and a teacher leaves little free time available. When he is not grading papers and tests or going to practice, he is taking care of his two boys.

The whirlwind of events and activities leaves Camacho with very little time to himself. Even though he is generally occupied, he still enjoys his current bustling schedule.

“Very, very fun, but at times, very very busy,” he said. “I have to make decisions on which one I put first at any given week.”

The decor in his room at Xavier represents not only his success but also the pride he takes in the sports he coaches. He displays the posters, plaques and other items rewarded to him for his success in track, football and bowling.

“I learned a lot from him and he has a lot of voice,” sophomore Ryan Stulken

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