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Meet the Coaches: Trent Hoffmaster, Tennis Coach

When Trent Hoffmaster attended Donegal High School he was a three sport, varsity athlete—something that has served him well since returning to Donegal, first as a wrestling coach and now as the head coach of both the boys and girls tennis teams.

The University of Pittsburgh graduate has been on staff at Donegal for the last 15 years as a seventh-grade social studies teacher, and, for the last 13 years, as an accomplished tennis coach.

When not coaching, Hoffmaster can be found at home in Mount Joy with his wife, his three children and their new puppy!

Q & A with Trent Hoffmaster

Q: Why is community support important for Donegal Athletics?

Donegal is a small district, so, within each sport, we have to reach out to the community for support. Tennis does not require the level of support that many of our programs require. I usually have a few tennis boosters who help to navigate a couple of fundraisers and the banquet. A small group of people who are committed to an organization can make a considerable impact. When I played tennis at Donegal, we had about three spectators at each match. Now we probably see at least fifty fans per match!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a coach?

I like the competition. For me, the most exciting part of coaching is seeing how players react in competition. What are they going to do if they are faced with a high-pressure situation? I think this is where sports relate to real life and becoming an adult. There are multiple ways to react, and I love watching students react to a difficult situation in a match. Ultimately, the athletes have a safe environment to fail or succeed.

Q: What has been your best moment as a coach?

I had a lot of fun watching my players win district championships in doubles and going to states as a team, but my favorite moment as a coach was watching my son make the game winning defensive play at Kunkle Field in his final baseball game there. Many times, the best moments are games leading up to the championship.

Q: What’s your philosophy on coaching?

Each season starts with a clean slate. Once you establish a line of success, you feel like you have to maintain that level, and, sometimes, that is not attainable. I try to coach the players and help them reach their highest level. I want my athletes to be good people and treat others with respect. I want them to show humility. I feel you need to be realistic in your approach to winning.

Q: What makes Donegal Athletics so special?

Donegal Athletics is special to me because I have been a part of athletics at Donegal for most of my life. I really like the way the student athletes support one another at Donegal. They attend the games of other teams and provide support. When I played, we were one of the smallest schools in the league. Now we are closer to the middle, but, for the most part, we are not a specialty school where the student athletes only concentrate on one sport. There are a lot of athletes who still play three sports.

Q: What do you want your athletes to take away from being on your team?

Anytime you compete, you should respect your opponent and the game you are playing. The most important part of sports is to learn how to cooperate with others.