Jeanes returns for 2nd stint as WHS girls lax coach

By on November 28, 2018
Eric Jeanes

Eric Jeanes

When Sarah Miller stepped down as the Warwick girls lacrosse coach after last season, Eric Jeanes gave some thought to applying for the position.

Initially, however, he held off.

“I just didn’t think I could make it work,” Jeanes said.

But after the tragic automobile accident on Oct. 26 which claimed the lives of two Warwick students and seriously injured another, his plan changed.

“I really felt convicted that I needed to step up and help out,” Jeanes recalled.

He submitted his application for the job and the rest is history.

At the Warwick school board’s monthly meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 20, Jeanes was approved as the Warwick’s girls’ new head coach.

This will actually be his second stint piloting the Lady Warriors. From 2010-14, Jeanes guided the Warwick girls to an overall record of 41-45.

When he stepped down four-plus years ago, the reason was to spend more time with his children. In doing so, he was still close to the game, coaching his daughter, Katie — who is currently a Warwick freshman — in youth lacrosse for the last six years.

Due to that experience, not to mention being a Warwick Middle School social studies teacher and an assistant junior high track and field coach, Jeanes has familiarity with many of the players.

“I’ve coached a lot of the current ninth and tenth-graders as they came up through the youth program,” said Jeanes, who is also the head junior high football coach. “I know some of the older girls too, and I wanted to at least be able to give them the stability of knowing who their coach was. I also hope that I have learned from some of the mistakes I made the first time around and can do a better job this time.”

Warwick Athletic Director Ryan Landis said that during the interview process, Jeanes jumped out to the committee as the right fit for the job.

Jeanes also was a volunteer coach for the Lady Warriors from 2005-07, then a varsity assistant for the next two years, helping Warwick win the Section championship in 2008.

In all, he has 14 years of coaching in the sport.

“From my position, we don’t just factor in Xs and Os,” Landis remarked. “I think Eric has the relationship piece, I think he knows how to interact with kids, and I think that was definitely a selling point to him for this position was that he knows how to motivate and coach kids.”

Jeanes will inherit a Warwick squad which finished 3-8 Section One, 5-10 overall. They graduated three key seniors in Talia Bertrando, Sullivan Herritt, and Katie Miller, but Jeanes is looking forward to working with the returning players.

“I haven’t seen them play much, other than a little bit this summer,” he said. “I know we have a lot of returning players from last year and some talent coming up in the younger grades. This winter I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a better feel of where our strengths and weaknesses are.”

A year ago, cross-town rival Manheim Township won the Section One championship title with a perfect 11-0 record, then went on to win the District Three championship and advance to the PIAA State Triple-A finals.

Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic, Hempfield, and Cocalico were the others who clinched L-L playoff berths last spring, and Jeanes said teams like those can be models in terms of seeing what it takes to qualify for the post-season.

“I think in order to get to where you want to, you need to look at programs that have already made it there,” he remarked. “Obviously, there are a lot of factors that go into that. Along those lines, the really good teams have good individual players, but they also work well together on the field. It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to have your best individual players trying to score by going one-on-one to goal all the time. We’ve got to work to get better by moving by the ball through the air and trusting our teammates enough to make the extra pass. I believe that if the girls can build enough trust with one another and to do that, then we can really make some strides toward the post-season.”

Jeanes is prepared to do his part. His schedule in the spring promises to be very active, with all of his kids — Katie, Thomas, Reese, and Lincoln — all competing in something.

“I know life’s going to be busy,” Jeanes said, “but, seeing that I’ll be coaching one of them, that makes it a little easier.”

The previous six years as Katie’s youth lacrosse coach at least gives him a glimpse of what to expect from that standpoint.

“We’ve always gotten along pretty well,” Jeanes said. “I’m sure I’m a little harder on her than the other girls, but she works hard and has always been receptive to my coaching.”

And whether it’s Katie or anyone else on the team, Jeanes’ goal is the same.

“I’m just concerned about helping these girls reach their potential and building a good foundation,” he said.

“There will be a lot of familiarity with the girls and him,” Landis said, “because he’s also coached many of them in the youth program, it’s just a natural fit. I think it’s exciting for us as a program to have him be willing to step up and fill this position.”

 

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