Burk named WHS girls’ lax coach
Lydia Burk has a lot of reasons to be optimistic.
In addition to seeing a talented core of players returning for the Warwick girls lacrosse team in 2015, she is also aware of a promising pipeline in the program.
Having been approved as the Lady Warriors’ new head coach at Tuesday’s Warwick school board meeting, replacing Eric Jeanes who stepped down at the end of this past season, Burk is ready to get started.
“I’ve already gotten in touch with the youth program director and we have been talking a lot about some of the eighth-graders coming up and even the third and fourth-graders that they’re starting to see in the program,” Burk, 32, said. “I’m excited for what is to come even in future years, not looking just at this year but looking at what’s going to come because the excitement about this sport just continues to grow.”
For the current Warwick varsity players, Burk needs no introduction. She was an assistant on the staff last season under Jeanes, who compiled a 41-45 record in five seasons at the helm.
A 2004 grad of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she is no stranger to the lacrosse sideline. Burk has also served coaching roles as an assistant women’s coach at Lancaster Bible College, the head girls coach at Elkton (Md.) High School from 2005 to 2009 and the head girls coach at Body Zone Fitness in Wyomissing.
Taking over at Warwick, Burk knows she has a tough act to follow in Jeanes.
“Eric was one of the first coaches that worked with the program throughout,” she said, “so I’m excited, but I have some big shoes to fill.”
Having a wealth of coaching experience in her background, Burk wants to capitalize on her contacts in the lacrosse community, not only picking their brains but bringing them to a practice or two to share some of their skills.
“I’m not the only person doing this and I don’t want to be that kind of coach that, ‘It’s my way,’” Burk said. “I want to come in and welcome everyone and let them know that I’m not going to come in and change everything, that we’re going to grow together and we’re going to take where we already are and the successes we already have and improve on those and make them even better.”
Manheim Township represents a tough obstacle to overcome, not only in the L-L League, but also with its six straight District Three championships. Burk, however, believes that Warwick has the potential to be considered among the elite teams.
“We had some very close games last season with some of those teams,” she said. “We almost were able to defeat Hempfield in the first game that we played them (rallying from a seven-goal deficit before suffering a 14-13 OT loss). It was a very close overtime game. So we do have the skills and we do have the potential. We need to make sure we put everything together into a nice package to take out onto the field.”
Asked what her team needs to do to get over the hump, Burk said, “I think that right now, our biggest step to get over it is that the girls need to feel more confident in making those split-second decisions on the field and not necessarily relying on the coach on the sideline to do that. I really see lacrosse as a fast-paced sport where the girls have to be the decision makers and very comfortable in making their decisions and knowing that either way, if they make a mistake, that they can fix that mistake as quickly as they can as well.”