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Southern Regional Bids Farewell to Coach Snyder

The Southern Regional gym was filled to near capcity for the service.
The Southern Regional gym was filled to near capcity for the service.
As the lyrics from James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" floated across the gym at Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin Tuesday night, all in attendance always thought they'd see Coach Kathy Snyder again.
The 58-year-old long time, two sports coach and teacher had passed away suddenly in her sleep early last Friday.
"She was a legend here at Southern Regional," said Southern Regional Board of Education member Chris Taylor. "She was a head coach for 35 years, in two sports. Can you imagine how many lives she touched?"
Fellow board member Kevin Lyons, whose daughter was coached by Snyder, summed it up by simply saying the coach was "irreplaceable."
As hundreds of people streamed into the gym filling it to near capacity the
Southern Regional Honors Select Choir sang in praise and remembrance of Coach Snyder ending with “Amazing Grace,” complete with a pair of bagpipers. Snyder’s current field hockey players, varsity, junior varsity and freshman, all sat together in several rows wearing matching team T-shirts saying "Execute" and many were sporting black and gold headbands as well.
“Saying we’ll miss her is an understatement,” said varsity team captain, Taylor Rossi. She added that they will now put what she thought was Snyder’s most important lesson to the test. “She taught us to be tough. To take it in, adjust and produce,” added the senior.
In his opening remarks Southern Regional School District Superintendent Craig Henry mentioned the coach’s impressive record of 800 combined victories in both field hockey and women’s basketball and multiple regional and conference championships. “But” Henry said, “wins weren’t her main goal. She wanted to teach the players her core values like determination, self reliance and compassion.
Following Henry, Snyder’s husband, Ken, emotionally thanked all who helped put together the memorial and those in attendance who had come to honor his wife.
Their eldest son, Brett, eulogized his mother and the bond the family shared saying that this night was a "celebration" of her life.
He was followed by the coach’s own high school coach, Nancy Williams. She said the tenacity Snyder brought to court and field was there from the
beginning.
She told of how in final minutes of a state basketball championship
with her team down by five points, Snyder stole the ball on three successive opposition possessions, scoring each time and leading her Shore Regional team to victory.
A three sport champion, record setter and Junior Olympian, Snyder also was one of the first “female athletes” to capture the attention of the media in the 70’s, said Williams.
While they gave her many nicknames alluding to her blonde hair and blue eyes, the one she liked the best was “Devil Woman,” she added. Williams. 
Later in the program other friends, family members and contingents of alumni athletes who had played for her spoke of Snyder’s determination, friendship
strength and constant drive to move forward and improve her teams and herself.
Perhaps, a final proof of that was in was one of her last posts on Facebook to retired long-time Southern Regional German teacher, Robert Hunter. 
Hunter’s daughter asked last week for people to post to his page as he was
hospitalized and it would lift his spirits.
The first reply was from Snyder who wrote, “Hey Bob- I have been working on that left hand lay up to show you. You never thought I had a left hand but I worked on it to show you. Ready when you are. Take care.”
Hunter passed away a few days later, adding to a very sad time for the Southern Regional family recently.
F.Lee January 29, 2014 at 06:51 PM
Just an absolutely beautiful Memorial for an amazing women. So many attended including teams and coaches from other schools. Thank you to the Southern Regional family for doing a wonderful and compassionate job in a difficult situation. You have all showed us why " We're from Southern and No one Could be Prouder."
Mark Bernstein January 30, 2014 at 05:35 AM
RIP Coach Snyder.

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