Prep athletes often volunteer as part of youth sports clinics, but rarely does a school officially hire an active high school student athlete to run a program. Lauren Prochaska is the exception.
The River Forest (Ill.) Holy Trinity High senior starred as a baseketball player for the Tigers this winter, but in the offseason she serves as a coach for her former school — Chicago's St. Francis Borgia.
Prochaska coached St. Francis Borgia's seventh- and eighth-grade girls' basketball team this past fall and currently serves as the volleyball coach. (She played every sport under the sun at the grade school.) Both are unpaid volunteer positions, but that doesn't take away from the responsibility she's been given.
"It's awesome that she gives back to the kids," St. Francis Borgia principal Sue Betzolt told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The kids look up to her. She's such a role model for our students."
Prochaska averaged 17 points, four assists and 3.5 steals on the court this past season, surpassing 1,000 points for her career and setting school records in both assists and steals. Needless to say, she was named captain of a Tigers team that finished 25-6 and upset the state's top-ranked team this winter.
Only four years removed from middle school, her leadership helped launch a coaching career earlier than most. Then again, Prochaska has always walked to the beat of a different drummer. In case you haven't clicked on the embedded YouTube video, she has a a guinea pig named after a "Hangover" character and a bearded dragon named Reptar that watches "Dexter" episodes on Netflix with her.
"He's just pretty chill," she said. Same goes for Prochaska, apparently.