As one of the longest-running field hockey coaches in all of St. Louis, Lutheran South’s Cathy Wietfeldt has retired.
“It was a very, very tough decision,” said Wietfeldt, 67. “There were so many funny times - so many exciting moments. That’s the hardest part. The kids make the job the best.”
Wietfeldt began teaching at South in 1976, the same year she began coaching field hockey. Over the past four decades, she has served as a physical education instructor, a math teacher, and department chair. She retired from teaching last year.
She drives busses, runs the scoreboard at football and basketball games, and can be heard announcing track results in the stadium. In addition to field hockey, she has coached softball, basketball and is even credited with starting South’s swim program in 1992. During her tenure, she had a butterfly swimmer take sixth in state. That record time was just broken last year.
“There were a couple of years I was in charge of the Lancerettes and cheerleaders,” she said with a giggle. “It was really quite hilarious.”
But her true love was field hockey. She fondly remembers Pastor Joel Christiansen playing in the team’s kazoo band with other dads. She has seen second-generation players come through her program and remembers convincing one student who got cut from volleyball to try the sport. That athlete, along with many others, went on to compete in college.
“The kids loved the sport,” said Wietfeldt. “It gave them something to belong to, and we did that for them.”
Wietfeldt will be succeeded by Christ Community Lutheran School’s Darcey Teasdale and South grad Lauren Kreienkamp, who coached junior varsity last year. Teasdale has coached at CCLS for seven years and played field hockey at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.