Leslie (Bremer) Wokasch has bled blue-and-silver all her life.
This fall, she returns to Martin Luther High School in Northrop to serve as both the new Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain volleyball mentor and later, the Martin Luther head girls basketball coach.
While being a head volleyball coach is not a new experience after a stint at Waseca High School, Wokasch has plenty of first-hand experience on the court.
RETURNING HOME — Leslie Wokasch gives instructions during Wednesday’s volleyball practice at Martin Luther High School in?Northrop. Wokasch recently returned to her alma mater to accept both the Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain volleyball coaching job and the Martin Luther girls basketball coaching position. Photo by Leanna Becker
As a Knight, Wokasch played four years of volleyball, basketball and softball, earning all-Valley Conference and Sentinel All-Area honors during her sophomore, junior and senior years.
Wokasch also racked up more than 1,000 points on the prep hardwood and grabbed more than 800 rebounds for Martin Luther.
After a successful high school athletic career, Wokasch moved on to play one year of volleyball and basketball at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, before transferring for her final three years at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato.
At Bethany, the volleyball team won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference during Wokasch's sophomore year and took second in the conference her junior year. In her senior year, she was named the UMAC player of the year for volleyball.
As for the basketball team, Bethany finished fourth at the national tournament during her junior season.
"We were always a top team in the conference in basketball, but we struggled in the conference tournament," said Wokasch.
With an undergraduate degree in finance in hand, and with Wokasch's playing days over, she finished her schooling with a masters in sports management.
The idea of coaching at Martin Luther was always something that Wokasch had worked for.
"Once I was done playing, I knew I wasn't ready to be done with either of the sports," said Wokasch. "I started playing both when I was 10 and had great experiences and great coaches. I wanted to pass that on to the next generation."
The first matches might not have ended in Wokasch's favor, with Martin Luther dropping its first three matches, but she's confident that there are still opportunities for the Knights.
"Any coach that tells you that they don't want to make it to the state tournament is lying. I think that is the ultimate goal for every team every season," said Wokasch. " I really want the girls to have fun, and learn about the game. Sports teaches kids so many things that are great."
It appears that Wokasch is here for the long haul, and hoping that her impact can really help make the Knights a contender in the Valley Conference.
"I was approached by other schools before about coaching positions, but if I am going to coach at an area school here, I knew I wanted it to be Martin Luther," said Wokasch. "I want to build strong volleyball and basketball programs and I just really love the Christian school values. I love this level of play, the area and this school."
Wokasch also helps to pass along some of the skills she learned as a player.
"As a coach, my favorite part is when you've been working on a skill with players, and it could take all season, but then they master it and it's so exciting," said Wokasch. "You earn their trust and know that you know what you are talking about. It's a great feeling."
With all that, Wokasch has accomplished in a Knights jersey in the past, no one should doubt that she knows exactly what she's talking about and is hoping to bring some excitement back into the Northrop gym.