Jul 01, 2022
Frantz reflects on Northwest life
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McDERMOTT — First, there was Roy Rogers most associated with the Northwest quadrant of Scioto County.
Then, for the last 34 years in the Northwest Local School District, there’s been Dave Frantz.
Indeed, as The Beach Boys once sang, “Be true to your school”.
And, if anything involved sports at Northwest, you name it, Frantz has either coached it —or oversaw it as in the case for the past two decades as the school’s athletic director.
During a recent and sunsoaked June morning, inside the Northwest High School’s media center, Frantz —looking relaxed sitting back in a chair — answered the simple question of what all athletic programs he has been involved with at the school.
“Track and field for 34, football for 25, AD (athletic director) for the last 20, basketball for 13, golf for three, I’ve helped out in cross country. And for a two-week stint one year I was the cheerleading advisor,” said Frantz, with a laugh.
For that latter activity, Frantz said — as AD — he had to fill in for 14 days for the cheer advisor who had stepped aside.
But case in point, name your Northwest sport —and Frantz has been involved in some capacity.
That is until now, as the 57-year-old Frantz —a 1983 West High School graduate who attended Shawnee State before earning his degree from Ohio University — has officially retired after 34 years in education.
Of his most recent roles in the district, that includes as an Intervention Specialist, Athletic Director, four years as the Lady Mohawks’ girls basketball head coach —and most notably all 34 years as the Mohawks’ track and field head coach.
“Talking about retirement here, it’s bittersweet, because I still enjoy doing what I am doing,” said Frantz, in his indepth interview with The Portsmouth Daily Times. “The Northwest community has really pulled me in, not being a graduate from here, but probably 99-percent of the people think I have graduated from here, just because I have been here so long. But it’s been great. My time out here at Northwest, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. When you are an Intervention Specialist and a coach, there’s a lot of job opportunities out there. I’ve had those opportunities, but I’ve never even entertained them. To me, this has been home.”
Frantz played football for West when Mike Brown was an assistant coach for the Senators, and later became the head coach of the Mohawks.
Brown basically brought Frantz to Northwest, worked with him side-by-side, and the rest as they say is history.
Speaking of history, his 2022 Mohawk track and field team —at his final home meet at Roy Rogers Field which was the annual Southern Ohio Conference championship — Frantz first got the traditional water cooler bath, followed by bear hugs of congratulations.
There was also the attempt at a victory lap with Frantz high atop his Mohawks’ shoulders, which — about halfway along — became his individual 300m sprint.
That’s because his Mohawks had captured their second consecutive SOC II championship —and for Frantz, the back-to-back SOC II Coach of the Year, he went out a winner.
Needless to say, there has been numerous Northwest — and even general — changes within high school athletics in the span of three-and-a-half decades.
But, at the end of the day, week, month, or even years, “kids are still kids”.
“Everybody talks about how much kids have changed per se, and there have been changes, but kids are still kids. If you treat kids right and try to teach them right, they are still kids and respond as kids,” said Frantz. “There’s a lot in this world which has changed, technology and so forth, but kids are still kids. If you treat them right and discipline them fairly, they are going to work for you.”
Frantz expanded upon his answer, and said leaving Northwest never entered his mind to a serious talking point.
“We’ve had some really great kids at Northwest. That’s one reason why I never wanted to leave, because the kids that I have coached have been awesome,” he said. “Our kids just fought, just believed.”
Among the current coaches in the district, Frantz coached head football coach Bill Crabtree, boys soccer head coach Josh Keeney, and several of his now former track and field assistants.
“The majority of our coaches here, I’ve coached and are Northwest grads,” he said. “They are friends, but they are also ex-players that will always come up and talk. They ask questions, but they know they have my support. It’s been a pretty good mix I think.”
While Frantz remained loyal to the Mohawk men and women student-athletes, he admitted that the high transfer rate regarding student-athletes is bothersome.
“The thing that upsets an old guy like me is the lack of loyalty to schools anymore. Kids are bouncing school to school with open enrollment or whatever. That was not happening when I was in high school. Your pride in your community, staying at your school, going all the way through, fighting for your school, that was a big thing,” he said. “But it’s how society is now, where you look for bigger and better things elsewhere in a hurry. Too many times now, if things are not going your way, you can just leave. Back when I started coaching and back when I was in school, you fought through things that didn’t go your way, and you found a way to make it. You had a letterman’s jacket, and you were going to have that same school jacket for four years, and you were proud of that. Now, it’s just go buy another one if you go to another school.”
And, if you left Northwest now, you won’t get to take advantage of the Mohawks’ modern and fantastic facilities — both indoor and outdoor.
“The facilities we have out here now are second to none,” said Frantz. “We are very fortunate with what we have.”
Northwest has a spacious and bright high school gymnasium, a sparkling stadium for football, soccer and track and field which features FieldTurf, and an outstanding new indoors facility.
The Mohawks have hosted many a sectional basketball tournament, and most recently the Division III Southeast District track and field championship meet.
He is also proud of what many Mohawk men and women have become following their graduation.
“We have a lot of great adults. Doctors, lawyers, loggers, successful people in our society,” said Frantz. “As a group, as a school district, I feel we have done a nice job of mentoring to the next generation.”
As for future Mohawks making it in today’s world, Frantz said he will miss being around the students, the athletes, his fellow coaches and educators, and community members.
“Those are the people that make Northwest special. And no joke, I am already missing the kids. I’m not going to call it a depression, but I am sort of down. I am going to miss the kids and this good group of adults I’ve worked with here,” he said. “And the community as a whole, I’ve had the best support I could have ever dreamed of out of the parents and people. It goes both ways, and it’s just been an awesome thing.”
Another “awesome” individual in Frantz’s life is his wife Lisa, whom he married on Aug. 1, 1987 —and who will retire early into the 2022-23 academic year, according to Frantz.
The couple have two sons which are both Northwest alumni —Matt (Class of 2002) and Eric (Class of 2010).
“I’ve been married 34 years, and the support of my wife has been second to none. I have loved my life and what I have done, but I could not have done anything without her support,” he said. “I can’t say enough. Lisa and I make a great team. She isn’t the coach’s wife that is out there that everybody sees, but she is behind the scenes.”
But out front, for sure for 34 years, has been Frantz himself —having been true to Roy Rogers Country and Northwest High School for so many.
As he said so often in his interview, “kids come first”.
“Our jobs as educators, as mentors, as coaches, we need to remember who we’re here for. And that’s the kids. To help raise them to be good adults,” he said. “Not to give the kids everything they want, but give them everything they need.”Northwest High School’s Dave Frantz has retired following 34 years as the Mohawks’ track and field head coach and after 20 years as the school’s athletic director.
News Source: portsmouth-dailytimes.com
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Watch above via MSNBC
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