February Coaches of the Month
Boys Coach: Ken Blaszka | Girls Coach: Liz Richards
Boys Coach: Ken Blaszka – HGR 2019 Green
- What is your favorite HGR Lacrosse Coaching Moment? I love when the game is over and I’m just proud of the effort and can see that the guys got better. I always want to win, who doesn’t, but we are trying to teach the game. Had a couple of those moments this past summer and fall with a bunch of guys who worked hard to do just that.
- What is your favorite thing about lacrosse? You can make the team and get on the field with more heart and passion for excellence than stick stills alone. Most sports need really good skill to crack the Varsity squad while Lax rewards those who just want to hit the field and compete.
- Who is/was your favorite coach/mentor? Grant Whiteway
- Other than HGR, where else do you coach? Timberlane (NH) High School Varsity and U9 Hampstead Youth
- What is your favorite piece of coaching gear? Shorts all the time
- What is your favorite inspirational quote? Awesomeness takes hard work. If it didn’t, then everybody would be awesome which means nobody is awesome. – me
- Any pre-game coaching routines? Hate pre-game. Just want to play. I like to just hang out and talk to the other coach or ref. It’s the players time to get themselves ready.
- Practice Snack Go-To (choose one): PowerBar, Trail mix, PB & J or _______ turkey sandwich
- Game Snack Go-To (choose one): Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Starbust or ________ Frappuccino Mocha
- If you could coach any sports team, pro or amateur, in any sport from any era, which team would it be? 2009 Patriots
- What was your favorite team to play on at any level, and why? Senior Year St. John’s Prep 1993. Got to beat Beverly and the hated Coach Mazzei (who I coached for later). Scored a goal man-up from above the box and shut my eyes during the shot. Hit top pipe and went right down for the goal. Awesomeness
- If you could meet any famous leader, dead or alive, who would it be? Ulysses S. Grant – unbelievable tactician. Changed the manner in which war was conducted.
- If you could spend one day as a celebrity or superhero, who would it be? Hulk
- Coaching advice for lax players heading into their 2016 seasons? Always practice harder than everyone else and finish the play in front of you.
- Pose a question for the next HGR COTM: What other sports did you play?
Girls Coach: Liz Richards – Asst. Director & HGR 2019 Green
- What is your favorite HGR Lacrosse Coaching Moment? My favorite lacrosse moment with HGR lacrosse was seeing our HGR player’s faces as we walked into the ESPN WWS at Disney to play in the President’s Cup. The sea of green lacrosse fields was incredible. It gave me the chills to be part of such an event. My pre-game speech was telling the girls “look around, take it all in and realize how lucky you are to be here playing the game you love… It is a perfect day… Have fun!”
- What is your favorite thing about lacrosse? I love everything about lacrosse! Undoubtedly though, my favorite thing is or are the relationships I have made through the years of playing and coaching lacrosse. I am still very close with some of my high school teammates and my daughter is named after a college teammate. The friendships that I have made through my lacrosse career are some of my most cherished… It is really important to me to get to know each of my players as people as well as lax players.
- Who is/was your favorite coach/mentor? My favorite mentor is our very own program director Michael Daly aka “Coach Dales.” I have learned more about the sport of lacrosse in one year than I have known all my life. He makes lacrosse fun. His practices are never the same with high energy and good competition among the players.
- Other than HGR, where else do you coach? Austin Prep High School
- What is your favorite piece of coaching gear? My HGR hat. Although it is on its last legs. I am going to feel lost when I cannot wear it anymore.
- What is your favorite inspirational quote? I tell my players all the time before every game. “Play hard but more importantly have fun.”
- Any pre-game coaching routines? No routine, but I need to be early to the field for every practice and every game. I need to make sure everything is ready.
- Practice Snack Go-To (choose one): PowerBar, Trail mix, PB & J or _____ PB chocolate Lara Bar
- Game Snack Go-To (choose one): Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Starbust or ________ Banana & PB
- If you could coach any sports team, pro or amateur, in any sport from any era, which team would it be? I would have wanted to be a part of the 1980 USA Hockey team. What an amazing story of a team that won against all odds and believed in themselves to win the Gold medal.
- What was your favorite team to play on at any level, and why? Senior year at Cortland State. I pushed myself incredibly hard and was team MVP. We were all good friends and teammates.
- If you could meet any famous leader, dead or alive, who would it be? Herb Brooks 1980 USA Hockey Coach.
- If you could spend one day as a celebrity or superhero, who would it be? Ellen DeGeneres. She is hilarious but more importantly has the opportunity to change people’s lives. I would love to have a day where I could have the chance to do something substantial for someone in need.
- Coaching advice for lax players heading into their 2016 seasons? Same thing I tell my players all the time. Play hard every time you step on the field and have fun. It is easier to play hard when you are having fun and doing what you love.
- Pose a question for the next HGR COTM: Do you think that you have to have been a star player to be a good coach?