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New Head Coaches Named


Ridgewood Hires New Varsity Football and Cheerleading Coaches

Norridge, IL — June 5, 2019 — District 234 is excited to introduce our new varsity football head coach, Matt Walsh (previous RHS Defensive Coordinator), and our new varsity cheerleading coach, Emily Arp, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.  

Walsh currently teaches senior social studies at Taft High School and has been a teacher for 22 and a half years. He was the head varsity football coach at Taft for eleven years before coming to Ridgewood 4 seasons ago to become our defensive coordinator. He holds a bachelors in social science education from Illinois State University.

RHS Athletic Director, Robert St. John, is thrilled to have Walsh and Arp join the Rebel family.

“I am excited to welcome Matt Walsh and Emily Arp to their new head coaching positions at Ridgewood High School. Matt (Head Football) has been our Defensive Coordinator the past four years and played a significant role in the success the program has had during that time,” said St. John. “I look really forward to Matt guiding our student-athletes and building on the proud traditions of RHS Football.”

Walsh is excited to be taking on this new position with Ridgewood Football.

“I’m looking forward to being a head coach again and help new/current kids experience high school football. I’m ready to get back into the playoffs and do things differently to get there” said Walsh.

In his spare time, Walsh enjoys playing golf, specifically the golf outings that support the RHS baseball team. He also looks forward to going to Wisconsin for the Fourth of July, something he’s been doing his entire life.

Ridgewood also found a vacancy in our cheerleading program, needing to obtain a new head varsity cheer coach.

Most recently, Emily Arp, coached the Westchester Raiders AYC team for 3 years and Glenbrook South for a year. She also coached gymnastics at a sleepaway camp for 3 years. In high school, she was a cheerleader and gymnast at fellow Metro Suburban Conference (MSC) high school, Riverside Brookfield. Arp went to North Central College and was a collegiate cheerleader during her time there. At North Central College she earned her bachelor's degree in Economics and Management and currently works in childcare. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, traveling and watching sports.

“One of my favorite things about coaching is helping people learn new skills and grow their love for the sport. The best feeling is seeing the team hit their routine for the first time. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone at Ridgewood” said Arp.

Ridgewood Athletics is looking forward to having these additions added to the RHS family and community.

“I am equally excited to welcome Emily Arp (Head Competitive Cheer) to the RHS Athletic Family. This is Emily’s first high school head coaching position and she has hit the ground running with an impressive level of enthusiasm and spirit. Emily has cheered at a high level both in high school and in college and I look forward to her working with our student-athletes and building the program,” said St. John.

We are eager to have Coach Walsh and Arp take over these athletic programs. Their work will focus on molding our young adults and continuing to build a positive environment at Ridgewood High School

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