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Casey Heinritz is a sophomore at Palatine High School. Besides writing and taking photos for Cutlass, Heinritz is a tennis player and yearbook photographer. Some of Heinritz's favorite activities are biking,...

Longtime coach and teacher, Paul Belo is retiring after building a legacy at PHS

Siomara Valdez
Coach Belo has coached for 19 years and is marking his 20th year as the head coach.

It’s Monday morning. The weight room in Palatine is filled with students, as they all stare at the message above the whiteboard. “There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Make every one count.” The one who presents these quotes, is also a great follower of what he preaches as well. His name is Paul Belo.

Belo has spent thirty-three years as a teacher, and is entering his 22nd season as Palatine’s baseball head coach. When this season concludes, his varsity teams will have won more than 500 games.

But, many don’t know about his journey here. He had his sights on a different dream to start with. Being in the big leagues.

“Like most kids, I wanted to be a professional baseball player,” Belo said. “I played growing up and then played in college at UIC, and then had a little bit of an opportunity, professional wise, it was called an extended camp, but I was released right away. I wasn’t good enough. That’s really what it came down to.”

Some of his elementary gym teachers helped open the gateway to finding a true dream of his, which was not what he originally thought it would be.

“I fell in love with being a PE teacher because of my elementary PE teacher,” Belo said. “I had some PE teachers in high school at Hoffman Estates that had a lasting impact on me as well.”

All of a sudden, it became clear that Paul Belo didn’t want his name on the back of a big league uniform, but an identification card that catapulted himself into a job that brought him to true happiness.

Belo eventually began his teaching career at Palatine High School, after leaving his job as an associate scout for the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Belo’s passion for baseball didn’t stop just because he couldn’t make it as a player. Being a coach was next on the bucket list. He has coached year after year for Palatine, and has always received respect from his players.

“Coach Belo’s best talent is gluing the team together,” senior ballplayer Sean Wasserman said. “He gets the whole team to buy in and he’s just a good team builder, I would say.”

Many people consume inspiration from Coach Belo. Whether it’s weights class or baseball, he will always push his players and athletes until he sees their very best.

“I hope that you embrace every day,” Belo shared, when asked about inspiration to leave the students with. “Every day is really a gift and then you can make the best of every day, it just depends on the mindset you’re willing to take towards that day.”

Belo has seven more months of teaching and one more season of baseball, and then he’ll get his well-deserved retirement. Palatine could not be more thankful for a teacher like Belo.

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About the Contributors
Luke Jorden
Luke Jorden, Reporter
Luke Jorden is a senior at Palatine High School. He is a play by play sports broadcaster in the broadcasting club here at PHS. Jorden also has jobs with two other sports franchises and a high school hockey network. He is very passionate about anything sports, whether watching or playing, as he enters his final year on the District hockey team and the lacrosse team here. Being a journalist is something Jorden enjoys because he can tell stories on paper in a way he can’t on video. He aspires to be a play by play announcer for a major team or network one day.
Siomara Valdez
Siomara Valdez, Sports & Photography Editor

Siomara “Alfred” Valdez is a senior at Palatine High School. Valdez is very passionate about photography as it is a hobby of theirs. Valdez went out of their comfort zone to take on new opportunities in photography becoming the color guard photographer for the season. Valdez is a big fan of the band Foo Fighters and wants to one day photograph at one of their concerts. They got recruited into Cutlass at Chipotle and went to the meetings in hopes to improve their photography. After high school, Valdez wants to pursue mass communications as their career and continue photojournalism at Winona State University.

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  • J

    James EkebergMay 17, 2024 at 7:45 pm

    All the best coach Belo! Jim Ekeberg

  • A

    Aaron Del MarMay 17, 2024 at 2:15 pm

    Great teacher and coach! Thanks for all your years of service and dedication to PHS!