Sports Sports Feature

Coach of the Year: Randy Segarra leads chess teams to podium finishes

Season 80 was a defining edition of the UAAP for La Salle Chess. As the men’s team aimed for a podium finish, the women’s team on the other hand did their best to avoid another occurrence of a tie similar to last year’s championship. Segarra states that both teams had a different complexion for this season, as they were confident and they jived with one another. He then built on the collective good energy that kept his team motivated and inspired to continue the momentum up to the finals.

The Green and Lady Woodpushers continue to strive to do their best while juggling academics and trainings. Although, notwithstanding all the hurdles they encountered throughout the season, Segarra affirms that he in confident in his team as he shares, “Hindi ako kabado doon sa play ng mga bata kasi basically maganda yung momentum, walang mga distractions, walang mga any untoward incidents.”

[I am not nervous about how well my kids will play because the momentum is good, there are no distractions, and there aren’t any untoward incidents.]

Despite the lack of competition-based training, both the Green and Lady Woodpushers reclaimed glory in the recent Season after disappointing results from Season 79. The Lady Woodpushers are back at the top while the Men’s division finished second after falling to 6th place a couple of years back.

“I think yung nakikita doon is more of yung how each and everybody showed their motivation, yung parang determination [and] yung will na mag-champion ulit,” says Segarra. He highlighted the importance of individual preparation in the field of Chess. Although team practices obviously also bear significance, mental toughness and composure are keys that led to the team’s success.

Segarra adds that maturity has been one of the key values he observed from his players. Most of the Green Woodpushers are outgoing players who were eager to end their stint on a high note. It is one of his notable milestones especially for the seniors of the team; to help them mature. All of which led to glorious results for both of his divisions.

As for the upcoming season, Segarra will be holding tryouts for the Men’s division to find recruits for his seniors. Meanwhile, he is confident with an all-masters lineup for the Women’s division since the team will still be intact and will most likely aim for another championship run.

Unfortunately, Segarra has been contemplating of whether or not to move forward with his coaching career. He will be focusing more on personal growth away from the Green-and-White after Season 81. But what the outgoing coach will cherish the most is probably how he saw the development of each generation he handled and how he will yearn for the days he spent playing for La Salle and training his players. “Play with heart,” he says often.

Hindi magwowork yung galing mo kung wala ka neto, kung wala kang dedication; and at the same time have faith doon sa mga kasama mo and also, syempre, tiwala sa taas. Without Him, none of this would be possible.” Segarra will be ending his journey with DLSU after one final season and will surely be remembered for his wise words and persistent determination.

Renzo Miguel Mercado

By Renzo Miguel Mercado

Andrea Punzalan

By Andrea Punzalan

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