By Olivia Byrnes and Emma Carr
After 25 years of coaching Jamesville-DeWitt Girls Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach Phil Luckette reached an impressive milestone in his coaching career: 250 wins. Coach Luckette won his 250th game on May 9 against Whitesboro High School, where the J-DHS girls were able to win by 19 points with a final score of 22-3. The leading scorers in that game were junior Jess Whipper who had five goals and freshman Lizzie O’brien who had three goals.
Coach Luckette is modest about this milestone and in fact says it makes him feel old. He also said that he would rather focus on his players than his record. “Most motivation is internal and I just try to build on what they bring. I don’t think I’m the source of that motivation, I just push it,” said Coach Luckette.
However his players give him credit for their success. Freshman Bess Murad explained that Coach Luckett is most helpful because he is very knowledgable about the game. O’Brien and freshman Julia Kelner say Coach Luckette does in fact motivate them. “He always gives us positive reinforcements and he always says that he believes in us,” said Kelner. “He pushes us to do our best and really try hard to succeed, ” said O’Brien. Coach Luckette also gives each of his players good advice, explains junior Haley Ripich.
Through the two and a half decades he has coached, Coach Luckette has motivated many lacrosse players. Some had were even motivated to pursue the sport in college. One player, Melissa Vogelsong, went to Stanford University and also now coaches there. Other players who went on to play lacrosse at the college level include Elizabeth Beville, who went to SUNY Cortland; Molly Maroney, who played at Le Moyne College; and Tori Nies, who still plays at Le Moyne College. Click here for a more complete list of Luckette’s former players who played on the collegiate level. Through the help of Coach Luckette, they were able to succeed after high school.
To be this successful, not only does Coach Luckette have to stay positive and motivate his team, he also has to keep up with the changing rules of the sport. “He has adjusted well throughout the times with all the new rule changes,” said JV Coach Haley Nies. Coach Luckette makes sure he is on top of the rules and knows everything by always carrying a book of the rules. “I read and watch other games,” says Luckette. “He reads the book all the time and is always telling us the new rules,” says junior Caroline Kopp.
Even though Coach Luckette’s accomplishments are much bigger than championships, throughout the years they have won two sectional championships and eight league championships. “In the last four years it’s been pretty good if you look back at the records. He is always right there within the league as far as winning league championships and things such as that,” said Athletic Director John Goodson.
For someone who started the program 25 years ago, Coach Luckette has brought a lot of success and potential for the J-DHS Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team.