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Husband and wife married to coaching at Catonsville High

Jeff Mohler and Sandra Gallagher-Mohler hold camps in lacrosse and running

By Brian Conlin, bconlin@patuxent.com

6:08 PM EDT, June 22, 2012

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Ex-Catonsville High boys lacrosse coach Jeff Mohler doesn't classify himself as a runner. His wife, Comets cross county and track coach Sandra Gallagher-Mohler, hasn't played a stick sport, aside from the occasional pick-up lacrosse game, since middle school.

Though their sporting passions diverge, the Catonsville residents enjoy helping young athletes realize their respective potentials.

No workweek this year shows the couple's passion for coaching better than the five-day span from June 18 to June 22.

Despite having two young children of their own, the couple managed to each run a camp at Catonsville High School.

"We normally try not to do that. It causes us a little hectic week," said Mohler, a co-founder of Prime Time Lacrosse Camp 13 years ago with Matt Ames. "It's a tiring week, but it's a great week."

Mohler runs his camp featuring 12 dozen players in the mornings while his wife conducts her running camp, I Run Tons, in the evening.

"That's only because trying to navigate runners around a track with six-year-olds and flying lacrosse balls is not that great," Gallagher-Mohler said with a laugh.

Gallagher-Mohler also teaches campers, ages 6 to 13, about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Even though the camp is not as established as her husband's, she is learning the ropes from him.

"He has had lacrosse camp for so long, they have it down to a science," said Gallagher-Mohler, a behavior interventionist at Catonsville High.

Gallagher-Mohler called her husband "an idea man, not a runner" but said that works out to her advantage.

"It's nice because I can say 'How can I make this less intimidating for them?' or 'What things as a non-runner are you looking for?'" she said.

As a former varsity runner at Catonsville High and Loyola University Maryland, Gallagher-Mohler doesn't know what it's like for running to be intimidating as it is for others.

Time and the brainstorming sessions with her husband have helped Gallagher-Mohler become more fluent in the language of non-runners, though.

"When you run at the competitive level at college, you have to scale things down," said Gallagher-Mohler, who graduated Catonsville High in 1999. "That's not something you do your first year out of college very well."

Meanwhile, she provides valuable perspective to his camp as well.

"When I coached Catonsville High School, I was so emotionally attached to my players," said Mohler, who graduated from the school in 1994. "We were a very close-knit team. Sometimes you need somebody outside that family (for a different view)."

The St. Mary's College of Maryland alum recalled instances in which he asked his wife about appropriate disciplinary action for players.

Despite their separate strengths, some campers find that they have a lot in common.

A participant in both camps, Sam Noble, 12, said he has enjoyed the positive environment that makes learning two sports easier.

"If a (lacrosse) ball went passed me, he would always say what I did good in that, not just what I did bad," Sam, a goalie, said.

"(Gallagher-Mohler) makes me feel really good about myself," Sam said of the running camp.

Dexter Weinkam, 10, and his brother Vinny, 8, finished the I Run Tons camp soaking wet, partly from sweat and partly from fun with water balloons at the end of a June 20 session.

Asked his favorite part of lacrosse camp, Dexter responded, "Same as running camp, you learn new stuff and make new friends."

Vinny agreed, adding that both camps were fun because they gave him a chance to run around.

Gallagher-Mohler couldn't think of a single drawback to being married to a fellow coach and considered the hectic week where their camps run energizing.

"It's a fueling week for us, even though it's a little tough with the kids around," she said. "It's an opportunity to do what we're meant to do, and there's always good that comes from that."