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FREEWAY WATCH : Nice Save by Coach

It is perhaps easy to forget that a high school coach’s responsibility doesn’t end when the whistle blows and he returns to his other duties. John Bolger, a realtor who coaches the Capistrano Valley High School girls’ soccer squad, provided a dramatic example last weekend of a coach wearing many hats.

Bolger was returning with his team by bus along the Santa Ana Freeway and had dutifully walked to the back of the bus to tell the group how well they had played, even though they just had split two games on the road. He went back to his seat and felt a jolt, which he later determined might have been the bus hitting a concrete abutment.

When he looked up, he saw the driver, who had suddenly fallen ill, tumble out of his seat.

The coach quickly leaped from his seat, grabbed the wheel, and managed to wrestle the careening vehicle under control.

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He gained a handle just as the bus was drifting across three freeway lanes and was headed for the concrete center divider. Because of Bolger’s lightning-fast response, the bus eventually came to a stop.

The coach then saw to it that the driver got medical attention, gathered his team in prayer and arranged for parents to pick the players up at a nearby restaurant.

All of which proves there’s much more to coach’s day than goes on during a hard-fought soccer contest.

Whatever the final score, Bolger is a winner.

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