The previous boys’ varsity lacrosse coach, Jonathan Powell, will not be returning to coach the team this year and in his place will be new coach, Ralph Bernardo, Wootton alumnus.
Bernardo, who graduated in 2013, has coaching experience, as he currently coaches wrestling and football, and is expected to be a beneficial change to the boys’ lacrosse program.
In high school, Bernardo played football, wrestling and lacrosse and liked all of his coaches, but he especially admired the style of his wrestling coach. With both experience being coached and playing for the school lacrosse team, he should be able to communicate with the players on a different level than Powell.
Bernardo is excited to help turn the program around and he has long term goals for the program. Bernardo said, “I want to turn the program back into the powerhouse it once was.”
The players are also excited for a change in coaching style. Players believed Powell did not have as much experience with lacrosse as they had hoped and that he didn’t interact with them in a manner they enjoyed. Player and sophomore Chris Rinaldi said, “I know this change will be very beneficial to the program and I am excited to get to know the new coach better.”
Players are excited to hear that Bernardo went to their school and have high hopes and expectations for his coaching abilities. Senior goalie Seamus Graham said, “I have been coached by Powell for a couple years already so I got used to his style, but I am excited for the new coach because I think he will help the program.”
Players have been particularly positive about the change. Bernardo has also only said positive things about his hopes for the team.“I love coaching so much so I am not as nervous for the season as a new coach would normally be. I have enjoyed coaching up to now, and I know I will continue. This group of players is exceptional and we will all be working hard this season,” Bernardo said.
The change will be different for different players but even incoming freshmen and sophomore varsity players have heard positive remarks about the new coach and are excited to be coached under Bernardo’s style. Sophomore Jack Greene said, “I was on JV last year, but I saw Powell coaching, and other players and I all think that Bernardo will be a lot better for the program. I have heard he is a very good coach and, at this point, a good, experienced coach is what the program needs.”
The players are expected to quickly adjust to the new coach with little to no issues. Bernardo will hopefully create a strong bond between the teammates, which will help them on and off the field. Rinaldi said, “I have heard the new coach is chill but doesn’t let things get out of han.”