*The following write-up/picture is the latest edition of our monthly volunteer spotlight of volunteers in the Westfield Rec. Dept. We are blessed in the Rec. Dept. to have so many wonderful people who do and have volunteered their time both now and, in the past, to make our department and programs/events what they are today. We want to say THANK YOU! To nominate someone for volunteer spotlight, please send us a private message on Facebook or call/text Andrew at 753-6842.

Our volunteer spotlight for December is Josh Freifeld. Josh has been volunteering with the Rec. Dept. for the last 7 years. Over that time, he has coached both indoor and outdoor soccer as well as youth basketball. He started his coaching career by coaching the youngest groups we have (pre-K/kindergarten in soccer & 1st and 2nd grades in basketball) and working his way up to now, where he is coaching in some of the oldest groups that we have. Many seasons (including this current indoor soccer season), he has coached three teams! Yes, that is not a misprint. He has coached three different teams a season on many occasions. There are not too many people who have pulled that off in the history of the Rec. Dept., and Josh seems to do it flawlessly. He always gives each team his all at every practice and game and although he must be tired, you would not know it by watching.

In addition, Josh currently serves as both a Village of Westfield Board of Trustee, as well as the Liaison to the Rec. Dept. and the Rec. Commission. These are roles he has served in since April of 2021. In Josh’s words, “I’m also the Rec. Dept. Liasion for the Village Trustees and being able to explain firsthand the needs of our wonderful Rec. Dept. and how it provides an outlet for kids to stay active and busy is very important to me.” Not only are we extremely lucky in the Rec. Dept. to have Josh serving in his different roles, but the entire Village of Westfield is as well.

When asked what his favorite Rec. Dept. program is, Josh said: “I don’t know if I have a favorite event or program per say, but it has been so wonderful to see new kids and parents sign their kids up for the soccer and basketball programs. Being able to work with kids across all experience levels has been so much fun. At the end of each season when a child and their parent say that they want you to coach their child next year, that is certainly an honor.” This has happened countless times for Josh as he is always one of our most requested coaches. If you have seen him coach, you know just how passionate he is both about coaching as well as the sports he coaches. He does not cut corners or do it half-heartedly. He gives it everything he has, and he gets so excited for the kids when they succeed and learn new skills.

Josh wears a lot of hats in his life in addition to coaching, from being a father, husband, son, uncle, and brother, to having a leadership position at his job, as well as serving in leadership roles in the past at his church, servings as a Village Trustee and that probably does not even include all of them. So, it can be mind boggling that he can find the time to not only volunteer and coach youth sports, but to coach three teams a season. When asked why he volunteers, Josh said: “I volunteer for the Rec. Dept. because I enjoy working and teaching the next generation of kids how to play the sports that I love playing. I’m a firm believer that whether you win or lose at the end of the day, that is not what is important. What is important is establishing fundamentals that they can build on each year and to help prepare them for the future. Seeing these kids grow is a very rewarding experience. I have seen all four of my children grow and learn new things and it is exciting to be one of the many who have helped in doing that.” Sometimes, you just get the feeling that, that person does things the “right way.” Although the right way can certainly be subjective, we believe that anyone who has seen Josh coach or even just knows him as a person has that feeling about him. He does things the right way and he is full of integrity and character. We are so lucky to have him as a volunteer and we are even luckier to know him as a person. Thank you, Josh!

Past Volunteer Spotlights:
July 2020: Christian Caballero
August 2020: Carol Reynolds
September 2020: Don Parker
October 2020: Luci Petrella
November 2020: John Emmons
December 2020: The Baum Family (Chris, Shannon, Mason, and Logan)
January 2021: Chris Anderson
February 2021: Roger Miller
March 2021: The Dellow Family (Wade, Wendy, Hunter, and Haleigh)
April 2021: Jim Van Dyke
May 2021: Josh & Amy Belcher
June 2021: Gavin Emery
August 2021: Roxanne Baideme
September 2021: James “Shaggy” Ruch
October 2021: Dave Walker
November 2021: Chris Chasse 

Published: Mar 02, 2022 - 6:15pm