Teachers, students in sports face hardships as coach faces health problems

Things won’t be quite the same for the rest of the year at CMR. Athletes come and go, but for P.E. and health teacher, Doug Darko cross country coach, has been here for decades. Last week he sustained a brain hemorrhage and went to Spokane to recover.

Senior Shay LaVallie, a close friend and athlete to Darko, said he has talked to him recently.

“He’s starting to be himself again. He took our times at the meet on Saturday,” he said.

LaVallie has been through a lot of hardship this year, with his mother passing away earlier this year, which is something Darko can relate to. His own mother passed away before the start of this year, and the bond shared between the athlete and coach is truly something you don’t get very often.

“When I first [tried] out as a freshman, he told me that if I train and keep myself healthy, then I’d be one of the best in the state when I’m a senior,” Lavallie said.

He ended up making made all-state, got first at cross-town, and is graduating with good grades. All thanks to the coach that helped him keep it together, he said.

Mitchell Maki who works with Darko says that he is up and walking thankfully.

“He has returned from Spokane and went to our last two track meets,” he said.

Darko’s friendly hellos and bright personality will be missed for the rest of the school year. Next year his return is likely; he will likely return to teaching and coaching.