Bernie Koontz’s 29th year as a teacher started in unique fashion as he and his Carroll County Public Schools colleagues began with virtual learning. Schools remain closed for students because of the coronavirus pandemic, giving the start of the 2020-21 year an unprecedented distinction.
Koontz, a Frederick County native, has been a coach for more than three decades, with seasons spent coaching boys and girls basketball, track and field, and football. Koontz has worked at Robert Moton and Friendship Valley elementary schools, North Carroll Middle, and Winters Mill and Manchester Valley high schools. He also logged time as a coach with Westminster and North Carroll high schools.
Koontz, 52, became varsity football coach at Manchester Valley High School in 2018. The Mavericks went 3-7 that season, but followed that with a 6-5 record. The Mavs qualified for the Class 3A East Region playoffs and beat Hammond 14-6 in the opening round. It marked Manchester Valley’s first postseason berth in four years.
There won’t by any football this fall, but the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s plan to resume high school sports in the second semester of the school year has Koontz & Co. trying to stay positive amid the pandemic. The Times caught up with the longtime coach to talk about the first week of school, and hie feelings about getting back to normalcy on the playing fields.
A: I hope the students get to experience all three seasons. With other states around playing and all the rec/club sports being played it would be nice for our students to be given the choice to be able to participate in a sports season.