Blair takes charge of men’s varsity lacrosse as head coach

Blair takes charge of mens varsity lacrosse as head coach

It was freezing outside and players could see their breath in the air. The team ran through the painful cold air and returned to the gym. Balls flew through the air, sweat dropped, and players yelled as varsity men’s lacrosse tryouts began on Feb.19. It wasn’t the same tryout as past years, however. The hopefuls had a new head coach evaluating them as they vied for a spot on the team.

English teacher Matthew Blair has taken over the head coach position from past coach Keith Hinder.

Hinder was the coach from 2001 to 2012. According to Blair, Hinder decided that he was just ready to step away from coaching.

Blair accepted the position this past September. He had begun coaching lacrosse in 2001 as the JV assistant.

The next year, he became the varsity assistant coach for Hinder until this year.

Blair said that most of his experience with lacrosse comes from coaching, although he did play lacrosse in high school.

“I began coaching as a way to get involved with students outside of the classroom. The team camaraderie and adrenaline from competing is addictive,” Blair said.

The players are also excited that Blair has taken over the available coach position.

“I think Blair will use a different method of coaching that could benefit the team,” junior Sam Foard said.

Sophomore Austin Eiseman is just as excited. “I am thrilled to have Mr. Blair be the new men’s head coach. He has been with the school for a long time as an assistant and he knows the game well and is already close to the players on the team.”

A few changes will be coming to the coaching staff this year. “[Science teacher] Kyle Leppert and Ken Kyger are my assistant coaches. Kyle coaches the offense and Ken coaches the defense,” Blair said.

According to Blair, this is also the first time the team will have specialized defensive and offensive coaches.

Scheduling, fundraising, and recruiting will also be changed, according to Blair.

For example, a team from California will face off against the team this upcoming season.

“We are hoping to increase our social media presence also,” Blair said.

JC lacrosse is now on Twitter (@JohnCarrollLacr).

Blair’s responsibilities will also be changing this year with his new job.

“As assistant, I communicated with the head coach and players about all aspects of the team. I was in charge of substitutions during games,” Blair said. “As head coach I am responsible for implementing offense and defensive strategies, communicating with parents, recruiting players, etc.”

“My coaching philosophy is based on seeing the team as an extension of family. The success of any team is a reflection of the group dynamic,” Blair said.

As for the upcoming season, Blair thinks the future is bright.

“We are looking forward to a successful season, which to us means playing for a championship,” Blair said. “There are many players who will stand out this year. We have 12 seniors, and each of them are very capable of being a top performer in our league this upcoming season.”

Cole Alban is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and