One GSW softball coach leads more than just his team

One Georgia Southwestern State softball coach leads more than just his team

AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Thousands of families across Southwest Georgia are finding ways to deal with the impact of Coronavirus.

One first responder’s passion for coaching has been put on hold.

Nick Spanolios is a volunteer assistant coach for Georgia Southwestern State's softball team.

He's also a full-time paramedic at Gold Star EMS in Sumter County.

During times of panic, he's found his years of coaching offers a unique sense of calmness among his group.

“In times of chaos at work, I kind of feel like you know if we’re losing in the seventh inning of a game I can kind of rally a team that way. Well I can kind of rally the group of workers that I work with to come together and calm down and let’s focus and let’s get through the rest of this day correctly because it’s chaos right now,” said Spanolios.

In this chaos, Spanolios told us there’s an undeniable void in life since the NCAA canceled all spring sports.

"Not having softball is the biggest struggle for me, because it was an outlet for me to escape from EMS. Because we see a lot of good and we see a lot of bad. So it was a great escape, almost a way for me to compartmentalize work from play. And I know people consider softball work, but for me, that’s my stress relief and how I get through the day,” said Spanolios.

No one knows when the team will be back together again.

But, for now, he’s focused on making sure his players are safe.

"Whatever I’m getting just informing them, just try to be safe, stay indoors and be careful right now,” said Spanolios. “We’re all kind of a close family within softball, so it’s good to kind of check up on each other and they do reach out to me just making sure I’m okay.”

After some reflection and knowing his players get another year of eligibility, Spanolios is encouraged for next season.

“After a few days, I started really thinking about this and realized this is going to be a blessing for us. We’re going to get stronger, grow to together and good things are going to happen from this,” said Spanolios.

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