After being retired from coaching high school lacrosse for six – glorious – years, I was pulled back in to help out Kyle’s team. I was not the only new face, however. This is Kyle’s coach’s first foray into head coaching. While he coached on every level, this is his first head coaching position.
His work was cut out for him. Kyle’s school has had a rough couple of years, and the athletic director told the head coach we were expected to win three games out of eighteen. Ryan, the head coach, said the team’s three goals this season were to have a record of .500 or better, make the playoffs, and beat our rival – my Alma mater, Archbishop Ryan.
I giggled when I heard those goals because with this team, I figured we had no shot…
Then something happened. We started winning.
Yesterday we played Archbishop Ryan, a team Father Judge has not beaten in seven years. It was an away game with hostile fans, and beating Ryan would complete two of our goals – beating our rival and making the playoffs. The game started off poorly, and after the first quarter we were losing 4-1. Our yelling must have worked, because the team came roaring back, outscoring Ryan 14-10 the rest of the way for a hard-fought 15-14 victory.
We beat our arch-rivals, and clinched a spot in the playoffs.
The varsity team now sports a record of 7-8 with three games left. Our final goal of being .500 or better is within our grasp, and bonus lacrosse – at least one playoff game – is in our future. All in all it was a damned fine head coaching debut for Ryan, and the season has me loving coaching again.
Oh, for the record, Kyle played well in the JV game yesterday. The JV won by a score of 5-1, and their overall record is now 8-4-1. A tremendous season for our younger guys.