In the next few months, all Salt River High School (SRHS) fall programs will be underway with football, volleyball and cross country games and meets. New Athletic Director Brandon Tauscher is excited, sensing a brand-new feel to the school.
“The kids, teachers and everybody’s approach has been upbeat. It’s been fun and also a lot of work,” said Tauscher. “Our student council has taken the idea of ‘Family’ as a theme, and we are all running with it. In athletics we have been doing cultural and character development with athletes and coaches called Theme of the Week, where all of our student athletes meet together once a week for about 20 minutes.”
They discuss commitment and how to build a sense of family to support each other. Both students and coaches have received awards for showing their spirit for the Theme of the Week, and according to the coach people and programs are really helping each other.
During the theme “New Beginnings,” coach Kino Reed shared an O’odham song about picking the saguaro fruit before the monsoon. Coach Simon Smith shared his Lakota songs, one of which was about how difficult it is to be a warrior. Smith’s other song was a buffalo song.
“We are all sharing knowledge about each other’s backgrounds, whether it is athletic or cultural, in a positive way, and it has been a really cool and unique way to build excitement for athletics,” said Tauscher.
Tauscher’s mission from the beginning is to have athletics pave the way to help SRHS become stronger academically. “I think for some reason people try and separate academics from athletics, but I believe they are one and the same. We want the students to become balanced in being good at both. Besides talent, it is about consistency, effort and belief,” said Tauscher. “Those things will help you succeed, and I want our kids and teachers and the Community to eventually see our school in a new light. I want to have our athletics programs help develop kids in multiple ways that will help them long after high school.”
Tauscher continued to explain that there are strong bonds and support that exist within the Community. “I had a vision for working with the strengths that our kids and families are bringing to us and helping to build strong programs,” he said. “I am excited to be in a position to be able to creatively think of ways to approach issues within the Community by working to build confident kids who are healthy and mentally capable to be leaders in the Community. Although there has been a lot of change at our school, I think our kids and adults are starting to see that vision and are working together to make it happen.”
Tauscher is a teacher, coach and the SRHS athletics director. His office is located next to the front desk. If you would like to contact Tauscher, call (480) 362-2000, but the best way is to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I encourage readers to look at the Canyon Athletic Association website (www.azcaa.com) to find team schedules,” said Tauscher. “You can also find maps and directions to where Salt River student athletes will be playing their games this year.”