Midcoast Athletics

Ward to transition from Windjammer boys lacrosse coach to girls lacrosse coach

Posted:  Monday, February 12, 2018 - 9:30pm

ROCKPORT — After serving as the Camden Hills varsity boys lacrosse coach for the past three seasons, Wade Ward is making a significant change for the upcoming season. 

Instead of coaching the Windjammer boys this spring, Ward will lead the Camden Hills varsity girls lacrosse program.

“Isabella and Lucille, my two daughters, were my main reasons for applying for the head coaching job for the girls varsity lacrosse team,” Ward said. “I loved coaching the boys team and while the boys, their families and Pen Bay Lacrosse have done a great job of building up the Boys High School Program, I was going to want the opportunity to see my daughters play. When longtime girls coach Amy [Gertner] stepped down, I knew this would be my opportunity to take over the girls program. It also helped to have someone who was interested in taking over the boys program and continuing the momentum of the program moving forward.”

He added: “The two games are alike in name and ball only, it is much easier to describe the similarities. They both originate from the same Native sport that has its roots in Maine history. The basic premise for both the mens and women's game is you have to be able to catch and throw to play lacrosse. Tactically, how we play offense/defense and transition the ball will be the biggest difference. Along with the overwhelming differences in the rules.

“As for the athletes, they want to be coached and given the opportunity to succeed. Coach Johanna and I plan on overwhelming them with the opportunity to better themselves.”

“I am very excited about having Wade take over the girls program,” said Camden Hills Athletic Director Steve Alex. “With his extensive experience in lacrosse he is just the right person to lead our program forward. He is well known and liked by our student athletes and I know that his transition to the girls program will make the program very strong in the years ahead. He [is] totally committed to making the program the best that it can be.”

Since taking over the Camden Hills varsity boys lacrosse team in 2015, the Windjammers went 27-12 under Ward’s guidance. 

In 2015, the Windjammers boys missed the playoffs after posting a 5-7 record. In 2016, the Windjammers finished the season 13-1 with the lone loss coming against Maranacook/Winthrop by a score of 15-5 in the regional semifinals. In 2017, the Windjammers went 9-4 and exited the playoffs when Marancook/Winthrop edged past the Windjammers 4-3 in a regional quarter final contest. 

In the same period, the Camden Hills girls lacrosse team went 5-8 in 2015 falling in the regional quarterfinals 20-2 against Yarmouth and 7-7 in 2016 falling in the regional quarterfinals 15-2 against Saint Dominic Academy. The girls team went 2-10 last season and missed the playoffs.

When asked what goals Ward will be implementing for the girls lacrosse program, Ward noted confidence and fundamentals will be key to the team’s success. 

“We want them to believe that they can compete on any day no matter what team they are facing or the field or the weather,” Ward stated. “Fundamentals will be the base and our goal right from the start. Build off the fundamentals and work hard.”

As the team’s new head coach, Ward also stated he is working to establish confidence among his players in his system and himself as head coach. 

In June 2017, Ward was the recipient of the Rob Pfeiffer Sportsmanship Award for the 2017 varsity boys lacrosse season.

The award is awarded annually by the Maine Lacrosse Officials Association to a deserving head coach, according to the organization’s website. The award is named for Rob Pfeiffer, a former college player, college and high school coach, college and high school official, according to the organization. The organization notes on its website Pfeiffer always promoted the importance of good sportsmanship and criteria for the award includes player, coach, school and fan conduct.

Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: sports@penbaypilot.com