EDISON — The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison has expanded its athletic program with the addition of lacrosse for boys and girls. Athletes in the middle and high schools have spent this inaugural spring season with daily practice sessions emphasizing drills and skills. By 2014, the school hopes to play its first game as a junior varsity team.
“Lacrosse is a growing sport in this part of the country and we want to be a part of it,” Wardlaw-Hartridge Athletic Director Karl Miran said. “It’s a sport that attracts young people because of the speed, action and athleticism. We are in an area with lots of athletic talent and a well-run lacrosse program will help distinguish our school and enhance the opportunities available to our students.”
Wardlaw-Hartridge took a big step forward in the growth of its lacrosse program by hiring Andrew Farman as its new boys’ head coach. Farman played long stick midfielder and goalkeeper for Newton South High School in Massachusetts and Colorado College. He has coached at Rumson Country Day School, Regis College, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and Colorado Springs School.
“I am extremely honored and excited to have the opportunity to build a new program at W-H,” Farman said. “The level of support I have been given already by the administration has been tremendous, and having the boys on the field this spring starting to learn the game is a huge advantage.”
The Wardlaw-Hartridge program will continue its growth on a beautiful new turf field. The school’s Board of Trustees recently approved the construction of two new athletic turf fields, which are being installed this summer.
“Turf gives us the chance to play nearly year round,” Farman said. “We don’t have to worry about tearing it up on rainy days or wait for snow to melt off naturally. We also always have a good smooth surface to play on, allowing us to think about the game and not the terrain.”
“The opening of our new turf fields will symbolize our commitment to providing great opportunities for our student-athletes to pursue excellence,” Miran said. “The sport of lacrosse can be played in good weather and bad. Artificial turf allows the game to remain a fair test of athleticism and teamwork, regardless of the conditions. We also look forward to promoting the sport and hosting many of the best players in the area at clinics and tournaments at our attractive new facility.”
The Wardlaw-Hartridge boys and girls have spent the spring developing skills and participating in small-sided games. While Miran is excited about the progress made in the program’s first year, he recognizes that athletes want to compete in real games. Both the boys and girls need to boost their numbers before fielding a full squad. Wardlaw-Hartridge also is seeking to hire a girls’ head coach.
“The biggest challenge in building a program like this from scratch is bringing new players to the game in such a small environment,” Farman said. “We have to not only teach the physical side of the game, which in many places has been developed in middle school or a youth program, but also help the players to build their lacrosse IQ.”
Farman believes in hard work, physical conditioning and generating offense with a suffocating defense. He has developed many high school players in his coaching career and has big plans for the W-H program.
“This program should become a beacon, attracting positive attention for the school, competing for league titles and taking on even some of the powerhouse public school programs in the area,” Farman said.
“We see lacrosse becoming a primary athletic and extracurricular passion for some of our students,” Miran said. “For others, it will be a great compliment to their other activities.”
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