By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/25/10
A major shakeup of coaching changes occurred the past few weeks for the top boys’ lacrosse teams in Central Pennsylvania.
Rich Lefever, who has built District 3’s Manheim Township into a legitimate state contender, has not been retained as head coach. That stunning development came after longtime coach Doug Bailey was not brought back at Hempfield, also a long-time power in Central PA out of the Lancaster-Lebanon (L-L) League.
The news of the two changes was broken in a blog site by Matt Blymier, the lacrosse beat writer at the Lancaster Intelligencer. Lefever started the Manheim Township program 11 years ago and has led his Blue Streaks to 173 wins, four league titles, two state finals appearances and semifinal berths in the first two years of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) championships.
Bailey started the Hempfield 16 years ago and won 260 games, seven Central PA championships, four L-L crowns and the District 3 championship in 2010.
No reasons were given by school administrators for the decisions to let the coaches go, Blymier reported.
In 2010 Lefever led Manheim Township to an 11-4 victory over Garnet Valley – the first time a team from outside of the Philadelphia area has ever beaten a Philly team in the state playoffs. Manheim Township fell to eventual state champion Conestoga in the semifinals, but not before giving the Pioneers a major scare in the first half.
The Streaks also reached the semis in 2009 under Lefever, bowing to eventual state champion La Salle by a respectable 10-3 score. In 2008, Manheim Township held its own in a 7-5 loss to La Salle in the final Keystone Cup title game.
One of Bailey’s standout players, midfielder Kyle Wimer, was a two-time All-American at UMBC and this June was the first Lancaster County grad to get picked in the Major League Lacrosse draft (by the Chesapeake Bayhawks). Bailey played at Penn State and was an assistant coach there. He also was head coach at Kutztown before it dropped its varsity program in the 1990s.
Blymier reported that the remaining eight Lancaster-Lebanon League coaches have a combined total of 12 years experience.