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Jonas Garelle is still walking on air.

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“I can always look back and say I’m a championship coach. I brought a championship to Forest Hills and it’s something they can’t take away from me, the program and the school,” said Garelle, who moved to Levittown Monday. “It’s something that I’ll always cherish.”

And now, the Forest Hills alum can add being named TimesLedger PSAL Coach of the Year to that special moment.

“Being a Ranger and an alumnus of the school, it’s an overwhelming feeling of elation to know that someone being there as a student and now as a teacher and coach can have the same kind of fervor for the job that translates to bringing the first championship,” Garelle said. “It’s huge.”

But it hasn’t always been all roses for Garelle, who just completed his fourth year at the helm. A longtime softball player who looks forward to his Sunday games, Garelle had no idea what to expect when he took the job four years ago.

“My first year was a disaster. It was a learning experience and I was a nervous wreck and there was nobody there to help me,” Garelle said. “I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of unnecessary yelling and pulling my hair out, but that was because I was a novice.”

The Rangers were 4-10 that year but quickly turned it around with a 10-4 season. Forest Hills made the playoffs in each of the next two years, including beating Richmond Hill in the PSAL ‘B’ title game.

Garelle said the recipe for success and the basis for his coaching beliefs are simple.

“My philosophy of coaching is family, love, softball,” Garelle said. “You tie those three things together, you’re going to get results.”

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