Eleanor Bogart-Stuart, cub writer
A physical education coach is usually regarded as a gruff and a no-nonsense kind of person. Vonzie Paysinger may be some of these things, but his hard-headed disposition can only be found on the field. When taken aside, Paysinger’s true colors begin to show. A man who truly cares about the happiness of his students and children may not be the person Paysinger wants to project when drawing up a football play, but it’s whom he truly is inside.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles with his three brothers, Paysinger had a “memorable high school experience.” He played football in high school and played college baseball at California State University Northridge. He pursued a career in professional baseball, but couldn’t quite make the cut.
“It was my first love, but things didn’t work out. I was a big fish in a little pond, and then I was a little fish in a big pond,” Paysinger said.
Although baseball didn’t work out, Paysinger has another team to play for: his wife and two daughters. It’s clear that family time is one of the main priorities in his life.
He and his three brothers all live within a mile of each other and get together several times a week. Every Sunday there is a mandatory family dinner. And once every year the Paysinger family has a four-day camping trip at Parker Lake, a scenic site located near the border of Arizona and Mexico. Paysinger’s favorite activity outside of teaching is going camping.
“We go to Parker and we just sit and hang out and have the kids run around, and it’s fun,” Paysinger said.
It’s obvious that Paysinger loves his family. What’s less obvious is his dedication to his other kids, the ones that aren’t blood related: his students.
“I want to make these four years a good experience for my students,” Paysinger said. “A lot of kids, you know, are trying to get out of high school so fast you don’t realize that it’s supposed to be the best time you ever have.”
While many students tend to think of P.E. as a class they shouldn’t take seriously, Paysinger makes them think otherwise, while taking in mind that they have fun. The affection he shows towards his students on the daily is something many teachers don’t usually exhibit.
“He’s always pushing his students in class, and always making sure people are trying they’re hardest,” sophomore Kyylexa Corday said.
Paysinger’s dedication towards all of his kids’ happiness is a true testament to his virtuous nature. After playing both football and baseball, he decided he wanted to come back and teach the skills and morals he learned to the next generation of athletes. As well as being a PE coach, Paysinger is assistant coach to the varsity football team and coach of the varsity baseball team.
“My favorite sport is football, because it’s a constant chess match. It’s offense versus defense. It’s a constant mental challenge that you have to play,” Paysinger said.
Paysinger’s athleticism seemed to rub off on his two young daughters: Reina (10) and Maya (four). Reina takes part in competitive cheer and softball while Maya just started her first year of t-ball.
“It’s a good time to be a parent,” Paysinger nodded.
Although he might have a tough exterior, when Vonzie Paysinger’s shell is cracked open, you find the morals, kindness and smarts of a truly genuine and family-loving man.