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Softball Coaches

Softball Coach Noel Aponte

Noel Aponte was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In high school, he played many different sports, receiving numerous awards for his talents. Aponte continued his education at Triton College and joined the U.S. Navy, serving 21 years.

As a coach, Aponte has instructed various sports in the last 20 years. Concentrating on enhancing young adults in personal growth, he emphasizes team unity, fundamentals, mental stability, and discipline on and off the field.

While at Sauk as Head Coach, he assisted over 13 players in receiving academic awards. He has also assisted in helping to move 80% of his players to the next level through athleticism and education. He strongly encourages players to pursue a complete educational degree program, as softball can be a short-lived dream. He stresses that hard work pays off as he continuously states that he is “Living the Dream!”

Coach Aponte resides in Sterling with his wife, Olivia, and their three children: Sophia, who played softball, basketball, and volleyball for Sauk and received her Associate’s degree in science. She then moved on to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene; Priscilla, who is continuing her softball career at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana, and majoring in International Communications/ minoring in Business; and Noel Jr., who is a student in the Sterling Public Schools system and active in sports like his father before him.

Assistant Softball Coach Daniel Garza 

Dan Garza is in his freshman season of coaching for Skyhawks Softball, with over eight years of softball coaching experience. He has acted as head coach for numerous travel softball teams in the Sterling and the Quad Cities areas for many years. 

Coach Garza has enjoyed many successful softball teams, and attributes his success to his coaching philosophy. Garza believes attitude is everything, that athletes should strive for excellence both on the field and in the classroom, and that college sports offer important life lessons to students-athletes. These all make him a natural leader and a positive, education-based motivator. 

Garza holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and has recently completed a Master’s degree Special Education. He lives in Sterling with his wife and two children.