Scouting the Staff: Math Teacher Edition

Though math is not always considered the most athletic subject and will probably be pervaded by the image of the socially inept nerd complete with a pocket protector and thick coke-bottle glasses, these teachers break the status quo and prove that functions and cosines do not necessarily apply only to the previously mentioned loser

Stephen Cochran
Broken ribs and neck, sprained ankles and a myriad of scrapes and bruises can not keep math teacher Stephen Cochran off the soccer field.

Due to a random cultural exchange through a childhood friend who came back from England, Cochran was exposed to soccer at the age of eight.

Cochran has come a long way since then. He currently plays in two soccer leagues simultaneously, a recreational mens team and a church league, United FL, through the Christian Athletic Association located in San Jose.

“I love it,” Cochran said. “I love all sports, but soccer’s fun because I’ve mastered it.”

Cochran actually played NCAA water polo in college, but when he got out, he was recruited to a semi-professional soccer team.

Alongside this, he also competed in triathlons to “stay fit.”

From there, during the years 1986-1990, Cochran played simultaneously in the Peninsula League and the Southbay League. In the years that followed, he was recruited to the Mexican League Urupuam in Northern California.

“We didn’t speak the same language,” he said. “But it was good. All those players were incredibly skilled. The American league players were more athletic, but it was a good experience.”

Cochran began as a player for Urupuam and because a player coach. After, he took a break from soccer.

“I got married and had kids,” he said. “I still kept fit, though.”

Recently, though, Cochran has had to leave the game. Due to a shattering of his leg during a soccer game, he cannot play at the moment.

“I will supposedly be able to play still,” Cochran said. “But I have an eight-inch steel plate in my leg, and if I hurt it again I won’t walk.”

Despite this, Cochran will still cycle and play around a little. This isn’t the first of Cochran’s injuries, but it could be the most disastrous.

“All my friends will do whatever they can to keep me off the field,” he said.

Matt Chaffee
Only recently introduced to the realm of biathlons and triathlons as of last October with the Pumpkinman Triathlon in Nevada by his girlfriend, math teacher Matt Chaffee is training hard and constantly to hone his racing skills.

“About once a month, I do small events that lead up to bigger ones,” Chaffee said.

Chaffee usually competes in small local races. Just a few weeks ago he competed in a biathlon that consisted of running and biking sections.

In addition, Chaffee trains at the gym when it is cold. This usually includes a 45-minute run and one hour on a stationary bike.

A usual triathlon, according to Chaffee, consists of a couple of miles in a foot race and more than 10 biking. The swimming sections can vary. But the training he does for both is generally the same.

Up until now, the races Chaffee has competed in have been relatively low-key and he plans to compete in a few small races throughout the year. At this moment, though, Chaffee is training for a local San Jose Triathlon in May.

“This will be the biggest one I undertake,” Chaffee said.

This race in particular would consist of Olympic distances with a 6-mile run, a 24-mile bike ride and a 1-mile swim consecutively, which is an ambitious decision, according to Chaffee.

Such considerable distances would be considered daunting for most, especially the above Olympic distances. But for Chaffee, a soccer player in college, triathlons are a way to keep up athleticism.”

“It’s a way to stay fit,” Chaffee said. “It’s basically something I can train for, and that keeps me motivated.”