Pungo Christian Academy hires new athletic director

Published 3:57 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

BELHAVEN — After a very successful year in athletics for the Pungo Christian Academy Raiders, former athletic Ddrector, volleyball and girls’ basketball coach Melanie Sawyer retired after the school year. Taking over will be first time athletic director, Logan Vaanstaalduinen.

Fresh off of graduating from North Carolina State University, his main title will be athletic director, but he will also lead physical education classes, as well as some strength and conditioning courses.

Vaanstaalduinen is a Pungo Christian Academy alumnus. He went on to Raleigh and earned a human resources management degree from the school of business, while working for two years under N.C. State men’s head basketball coach Kevin Keatts.

Vaanstaalduinen plans on being consistent with the level of athletic excellence the school achieved during last year’s sports seasons.

“We look to maintain the level of athletic excellence we’ve had so far and striving to do better,” Vaanstaalduinen said.

Last year, the girl’s sports teams swept conference titles in volleyball, basketball and softball. The softball team made it all the way to the state championship game with an incredibly young group.

“As athletic director I would like to push them over the edge so we can bring that state championship title home,” Vaanstaalduinen said. “As for the boys’ programs, we’d like to increase the level of success. We haven’t won a conference tournament in basketball since 2013 and I can’t remember the last time in baseball. My goal at PCA is to have us where we can win all the conference tournaments.”

Last season, the eight-man football league at Pungo Chrisitian made it to the state semi-finals. Last year was the first time since 1990 that Pungo fielded a varsity football team.

“This year we’re bringing back a lot of key players. We’re really hoping this upcoming season we can get to that championship game,” Vaanstaalduinen said. “Just the possibility for Pungo to have a chance at two state titles when our school as a whole has only won one in our 51-year history, that’s pretty incredible. We have the opportunity this year in my opinion.”

Most of the game times for the upcoming fall season have been set in stone outside of the soccer schedule. Pungo is also adding cross-country to its list of extra curricular activities.

“We have a lot of great coaches in place,” Vaanstaalduinen said. “With Melanie retiring, we’re going to have to find a replacement for her. She’s had a lot of success in the past, especially with bringing home those TIC tournament championships this past year. We’re definitely going to miss her a whole bunch, but we’re confident we’ll be able to find someone that will maintain the level of excellence she’s been able to produce the last few years.”

Vaanstaalduinen was ecstatic to talk about his new role and is looking forward to molding the minds of the next generation of kids in a Christian environment.

“I think what I am most excited about coming to PCA, is being able to come to a Christian school in a good environment and develop not only athletes, but kids as a whole,” Vaanstaalduinen said. “It’s not often from a teaching perspective you get a chance to reach so many kids. In the position I’m in, I get to interact with over 200 kids on a daily basis. I’m excited to be a good Christian role model and influence, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”