Saying goodbye to a beloved local high school coach

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WASHINGTON — It was a week ago that a horrific crash on the beltway in Springfield claimed the life of a beloved high school coach and gravely injured his nephew. On Saturday at the Vienna Presbyterian Church, funeral services were held for 52-year-old Leonard Schultz.

He was a beloved James Madison High School football coach and teacher.

Many knew him as Lenny Schultz.

Gianni Cugini is a former James Madison football player who graduated in 2015 and now attends college. He came to say goodbye to his former football coach and teacher.

“It’s crazy. It’s very shocking,” Cugini said of the sudden and tragic loss of his former coach.

Cugini said this tragedy has him looking at life a little differently.

“You got to enjoy life, enjoy the people around you and don’t take things for granted.”

He said Schultz was such a humble man and a joy to be around.

“He will be missed a lot.”

Cugini said his death will really be felt come football season.

Max Ehrsam is also a former Madison football player who came back to attend the funeral services.

He graduated from high school in 2012. He, too, was stunned at the sudden lost of his former coach. But he does smile when he thinks back on how his coach made his senior year a blast.

“It was one of my favorite years playing,” Ehrsam said.

He says Coach Schultz was awesome. Schultz was fun at practice and challenged his players.

“He was a players’ coach for sure. He loved his players,” Ehrsam said.

Coach Schultz’s legacy lives on through former football players like Ehrsam, who now coaches high school football in Salisbury, Maryland.

“I try to coach the same way he did I guess. I guess it’s like having a selfless mentality. Just doing what’s best for everyone around you,” Ehrsam said. “He’ll be missed but we’ll see him again.”

The family of Lenny Schultz is setting up a scholarship fund in Lenny’s name.

The post Saying goodbye to a beloved local high school coach appeared first on WTOP.

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