Kingsleys follow coaching bloodline

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RA ARCHIVE After years of starring for the Hawks, Cody Kingsley of Beacon Falls, seen here playing for the Prospect-Beacon Falls American Legion team in 2009, has returned to Woodland to coach. RA ARCHIVE

Their surname is synonymous with Woodland athletics from the days of their on-field exploits. Now, they’re making names for themselves around the area in a similar endeavor—coaching.

Shane and Cody Kingsley of Beacon Falls have had their eyes on coaching since their playing days on Back Rimmon Road and recently they’ve both had the opportunity to put their goals into practice.

Shane, a former all-state football and baseball player, graduated in 2006 and Cody, a former quarterback and all-league baseball player, graduated in 2008, but both have maintained ties to their alma mater by returning to coach in volunteer roles while pursuing a college education.

Both have been seen as volunteer assistants at times on the football and basketball sidelines at Woodland, but this summer they expanded their coaching résumé by taking on a 16-year-old baseball team from The Hit Club of Thomaston.

Shane, a recent graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, served as the team’s head coach while Cody, a senior at Post University, assisted his older brother.

On that team, which won the War at the Shore tournament and finished with a winning record on the summer, there was hardly a squabble between the two ultra-competitive siblings.

“It’s easy to work well together when we both want to win,” Cody said. “We very rarely ever argue when we’re with each other. I think we bring out the best in each other coaching.”

There’s no doubt the brothers have plenty of knowledge of their sports, as displayed by their athletic careers.

Shane, a four-year starter on both the baseball and football teams, was the first athlete in Woodland history to earn all-state honors in both of those sports and was a two-way starter on both football state championship teams, earning Class SS MVP honors in 2005. He is in the top three in numerous statistical categories in both sports and was ranked the top male athlete in the first decade of Woodland athletics in CN’s All-Decade issue in January 2010.

Former Woodland two-sport athlete Shane Kingsley of Beacon Falls, seen here during the Class SS tournament in 2005, is continuing the family legacy of coaching. RA ARCHIVE

He recently completed his college baseball career which saw him play a year at Marist College before transferring to Eastern Connecticut, where he posted a career .317 average with a .424 on-base percentage. He graduated with a degree in business marketing.

Cody also posted above a .300 career average at Woodland and trails only Shane in career stolen bases. He was the starting second baseman on the 2007 baseball squad which won the program’s only NVL title and led the football team to the 2007 Copper Division title and a playoff berth.

He was in line several times to play at Post but numerous injuries derailed his plans, including a shoulder injury suffered at the beginning of his summer season in North Carolina. That injury gave him the rest of the summer to coach with Shane.

“It was the only thing around that kept me in the game,” Cody said. “That pretty much did it for me.”

As Cody finishes his last year at Post, he has taken the Woodland freshman football head coaching job, picking up for his dad, Mike, who is also the school’s varsity baseball and JV basketball head coach.

“I was originally coaching with the varsity as the tight ends coach,” said Cody, who is being assisted by former classmates and football alumni Eric Brown and Bob Spickle. “When I found out my dad wasn’t doing the freshman team, I thought it would be a good fit for me.”

He has already noticed the different challenges coaching a freshman sports team presents.

“The guys are very fresh so they don’t know how things at the high school work just yet,” Cody said. “It makes it more difficult teaching them the plays and teaching how things are run, getting the kids to respond to you and getting them to understand what you’re saying and what you’re expecting.”

But for the challenges involved with coaching, he thinks the rewards are much worth it.

“I like to be able to teach the kids things that I learned during my years of playing,” Cody said. “I like developing players to make them become better players at the next level.”