Schaffer named coach for Warwick boys lacrosse

By on September 19, 2018
A former player in the Warwick boys lacrosse program, Chris Schaffer is now taking over as the Warriors’ head coach, replacing Wayne Hummer. Photo by Wendy Dagen

A former player in the Warwick boys lacrosse program, Chris Schaffer is now taking over as the Warriors’ head coach, replacing Wayne Hummer. Photo by Wendy Dagen

Being a head lacrosse coach has been a long-time goal for Chris Schaffer.

The 2010 Warwick grad now has his shot.

A former Section One First-Team All-Star for the red-and-black, Schaffer is taking over at his alma mater, receiving approval at Warwick’s school board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4 to replace Wayne Hummer as the Warriors’ new boss.

For the past two seasons, he has been an assistant in the program.

“I’m ecstatic about it,” said Schaffer, who celebrated his 27th birthday in July. “I’ll be honest, I didn’t know where (getting a head coaching job) would end up being, but I’m grateful that it’s at Warwick. I’m just glad to be back and I’m glad to be with the team, especially a team I’ve been working with over the last couple of years.”

After leaving the halls of Warwick High School, Schaffer went on to play lacrosse at Division-Two Chestnut Hill College, first under Richard Carrington, who recruited him, and then Brian Dougherty, a two-time gold-medal winning goalie a the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships.

The education he gained from his time competing for the Griffins was invaluable.

“(Dougherty) was instrumental in the amount of knowledge that I actually could learn of the game,” said Schaffer, a sixth-grade mathematics teacher at Kissel Hill Elementary. “And I’ve been coaching summer ball and club teams since I graduated high school, so I’ve definitely taken a wealth of knowledge from guys like Rich Lefever and others, who are great role models in the area.”

Given his football background — Schaffer was also a Section One First-Team All-Star at linebacker and is currently as a third-year assistant for the Warriors — it should be no surprise that he wants his squad to play a physical game.

A defensive player for both the Warwick and Chestnut Hill lacrosse teams, he acknowledges that his specialty probably lies on that side of the ball. At the same time, however, Schaffer believes that he is well-rounded in the sport.

“I’ve been around the game since I was in fourth, fifth grade and I’ve had a lot of chances defensively, offensively, even what I would call specialists between goalies and face-off guys,” Schaffer said. “So I do feel like I’ve got a pretty solid background of information and experience coming into it.”

That experience has also led to a philosophy which might best be described as no-nonsense.

“I’m a huge person in commitment and hard work,” Schaffer said. “That’s something you’ve got to be able to put in. This isn’t something that just happens overnight.”

Schaffer inherits a team that finished 11-6 this past spring after falling 15-8 to Hempfield in the Lancaster-Lebanon League semi-finals and suffering a 9-3 setback to Red Lion in a District Three Triple-A first-round game.

Although the Warwick boys graduated several All-Stars, including Nathan Forbes, Luke Hirtzel, Josiah Jewell, Justin Minnich, Corey Snyder and Christian Springer, they also bring back a solid corps of players, led by the likes of Austin Barto, Jon Bergh, Carter Davis and Trey Glass, who all earned post-season accolades.

“I like the amount of guys we have coming back,” Schaffer said. “We graduated a good amount of players, but we still have a lot of guys coming back that can give us a lot of help. We’re one of those teams that is consistently showing up in League playoffs or making some form of District appearance. I think the next step is to make a run within that area. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t look at ourselves being (someone) that can win multiple District games or win League playoff games or to continue to make noise later on in the season. I think coach Hummer’s done a great job putting that foundation in place.”

Of course, Manheim Township — the reigning PIAA State Triple-A champion — will do all it can to remain king of the mountain.

Asked what it will take for the Warriors to be able to overtake them, Schaffer said, “Man, they’re a solid program from the ground up, I really have to give it to them. They’re someone I’ve competed with my whole life growing up in the area and I know it’s always going to be a competition the whole time I’m here too. So what it necessarily takes? I’m not sure if there’s one X factor that’s going to change everything, but I’m hoping to bring a lot of different mindsets and philosophies and just an overall attitude toward the game that hopefully we can make that next step and finally knock them off.”

Now that Schaffer has attained his long-time goal of being a head coach, he’s going to give it his best shot.


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