Change in leadership proves helpful for North Central’s lacrosse team
By Allison Crump and Grace Kahnke
Billy Frick made the decision to step down from the position of head lacrosse coach Feb. 24 during the 2018 pre-season.
“The pre-season has been stressful because of the roster size [and] has shown unhealthy patterns,” Frick said.
Frick stepped down voluntarily and Greg Johnson, athletics coordinator, advised against contacting Frick at this time.
Thomas Smith stepped into the role as interim head coach for the lacrosse team. Smith along with the assistant coach, Ted Sperides, have big hopes for the 2018 season and North Central’s lacrosse team.
Smith has been working through the Mayo Clinic as North Central’s athletic trainer. With his new position, he is now formally employed by North Central. “The position change has not been difficult but has taken up more time,” Smith said. He is also continuing his role as athletic trainer.
Smith’s coaching experience covers working with youth and high school lacrosse teams for the past five years, leading them to state championships and winning tournaments. He said he is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“When Greg [Johnson] asked me to be the lacrosse coach I didn’t even have to think about taking the position…this is a great opportunity and I am very honored to take over,” Smith said.
According to Johnson, since Smith has taken over as head coach, the team’s morale has improved greatly. Since the beginning of the season, the team has grown from 11 to 14 players with more and more students interested in playing.
Smith acknowledges that the team may not be the best, but he is hopeful that they will grow in ability and lay the groundwork for a great future.
The first few games of the season were played with only 11 athletes, while most teams have 20 to 30.
The North Central lacrosse team is one of two teams in their conference, the other being Northwestern. As a result, the team has to travel to either Wisconsin or Illinois for away games.
The team has so far lost all five games they have played. The most recent home game was Sat., March 24 against Monmouth College from Illinois.