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Buffalo Wild Wings February 2017 Coach of the Month: Robert Youngblood, Northwest Boys Indoor Track

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Robert Youngblood, who has coached the Northwest High School boys indoor track team in Montgomery County to four straight MPSSAA Class 4A state championships, is the County Sports Zone/Buffalo Wild Wings Coach of the Month for February!

Coach Youngblood, who also oversees the girls indoor team, coaches both outdoor teams and cross country at Northwest, has coached at the school since 2010, and has been an art teacher there for long before that. He's previously coached at a plethora of schools including Damascus, Kennedy and Frederick.

"I figured out a long time ago that to be successful, you can't just build a team. If you build a team, it'll be successful for the moment, and that'll be it," Coach Youngblood said. "I go after and push the second, third and fourth athletes so that when one graduates, the others are ready to come in."

The boys team had never won a state championship in track before Youngblood became head coach. The past three seasons, Northwest has won the county, region and state titles for boys indoor track, which is a first in Montgomery County.

It's a streak that's led to far more interest in track and field at Northwest. Coach Youngblood said his first year the team had about 40 athletes try out for the team. This year, Northwest had 100 athletes come out to try to make the team.

"It's a lot of fun. We're fortunate to have such a diverse school in terms of having both talented distance runners and sprinters," junior Chase Osborne said. "Most schools have just one or the other, so it's been great having both."

To senior Robert Gicheru, a big part for the team's achievements has been Coach Youngblood's focus on track being a team sport.

"He emphasizes being a family, and that it's more of a 'we' type of thing instead of an 'I' type of thing," Gicheru said. "That has been a key to success in this program - nobody is in it for themselves. You're with your teammates at all times."

Coach Youngblood also coaches the school's chess team, and teaches basketball over the summer. Coach Youngblood is also the head of Northwest's Fellowship of Christian Athletes club.

To him, the appeal of coaching is helping kids achieve what they did not think was possible. Whether if it's at the track, in the classroom or during a game of chess, Coach Youngblood loves it when a student reaches a milestone they didn't think they were capable of.

"I try to live my life through Christ and to give, so it's really not about coaching. Even in art class getting them to do something they didn't think was possible is great," Coach Youngblood said. "I have kids coming back after graduating 10 years ago telling me they still have a picture I had them draw which turned out great. It's phenomenal making them feel good, and that's what I try to do."

For being named County Sports Zone/Buffalo Wild Wings Coach of the Month, Coach Youngblood received a gift certificate, sauces and a hat from Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as a County Sports Zone t-shirt.

If you'd like to make a nomination for next month's County Sports Zone/Buffalo Wild Wings Coach of The Month, click here.

Congratulations to Coach Youngblood!
March 15th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

Coach of the Month

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