Throughout the high school tennis season each spring, Huntingtown resident Derek Sabedra is among the more familiar faces in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and through the region and state tournaments.
This fall, Sabedra will spend less time overlooking tennis courts than he will other tasks after being named the Supervisor of Athletics of Dorchester County Public Schools, overseeing the county’s two high schools, North Dorchester and Cambridge-South Dorchester. But by next spring, when tennis play finally commences, he will likely make his presence known in the area.
“When this opportunity presented itself, I thought I had to take a shot at it,” Sabedra said. “I always enjoy working with coaches and athletes and now I will have the chance to oversee the teams at two different schools in one county. I still plan to spend close to half of my time in Huntingtown since I am now a dual resident in Calvert and Dorchester counties.”
Sabedra has a long history of coaching tennis teams in the SMAC and at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and St. Mary’s Ryken. But he also has a long resume of coaching other sports, including football, boys basketball and girls basketball throughout the SMAC. Along the way he admits to having learned from fellow coaches and athletic directors.
“I loved being a part of the SMAC as a coach,” Sabedra said. “There are a lot of good athletes and good coaches in SMAC and I’ve always enjoyed interacting with the parents. This job in Dorchester County is definitely something new for me, but I am really looking forward to it. It will give me a chance to see what having a more administrative role is like.”
Sabedra has spent plenty of time at Great Mills, where he was boys lacrosse coach in 2001, girls basketball coach in 2002 and boys basketball coach in 2006. He was the Hornets’ tennis coach from 2002-2006 and was an assistant coach for the football team from 2001-2012.
Sabedra spent a total of 10 seasons as an assistant coach for the Patuxent girls basketball team, two seasons as the head coach of the Panthers tennis team (2013-2014) one year as the Panthers boys basketball assistant coach, one season as assistant coach of the football team. He was also the head tennis coach at St. Mary’s Ryken from 2015-2018 then guided Leonardtown to the SMAC tennis title in 2018.
Sabedra was also tennis coach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he guided the Seahawks to 125 wins in six years and guided the Century High School tennis team to 100 wins. He has also served as the SMAC Tournament Director from 2014-2019 and he ran, unsuccessfully, for Judge of the Orphans Court in Calvert County while losing to three incumbents.
“I have several goals for the year as supervisor of athletics,” Sabedra said. “To be able to actually supervise an athletic season at all during the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue to get used to the area of Dorchester County and continued supporter of the coaches, athletes, teams, students and parents and to help athletics grow in Dorchester County.”
Along the way, Sabedra learned plenty about coaching and administrative nuances from Andy Roper, former supervisor of athletics in St. Mary’s County; Steve Lee, Charles County supervisor of athletics, Kevin Hook, Calvert supervisor of athletics; VaShawne Gross, Huntingtown athletic director; Keith Powell, Patuxent athletic director; and Sonja Carroll, Patuxent girls basketball coach.