By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/1/16
Haverford School’s John Nostrant has been named the 2015 Phillylacrosse.com Boys’ team Coach of the Year.
Nostrant guided the Fords to a 26-0 season, the Inter-Ac league title, the Inter-Ac Challenge crown and the No. 1 spot in every National Rankings, including the Epoch Lacrosse North America Rankings. The perfect season and mythical National title was the second for Nostrant and his Fords in five seasons.
Armed with a long line of major D1 commits, no one could argue that Nostrant had more than enough talent to work with. But it was Nostrant’s success in keeping a team full of stars working as a unit all season against a national schedule that made Nostrant the choice as the 2015 Phillylacrosse.com Boys’ Team Coach of the Year.
“I thought Coach Nostrant did a great job in managing the talent that we had,” said Haverford School All-American senior attackman Grant Ament. “He was very straight up with all of us in the beginning of the year, telling us that he did not care where we were going to college.
“He said he wanted players that bought into his system, and I think we all did that. I think that was the hardest part of his job this year, but it was a good problem to have.”
The Fords had their share of challenges, and had to come from behind several times. They pulled out early-season wins over McDonogh School (9-8 in OT), IMG Acadmy (11-10), Brunswick School (8-7) and then Episcopal Academy (7-6). Haverford defeated Hun School, 15-8, to win the Inter-Ac Challenge at PPL Park and then rallied from several three-goal deficits to topple Culver Academy, 13-9, and finish undefeated.
“Coach made sure every practice was a grind,” said Ament. “Nothing was ever set in stone. I can honestly say I never felt totally comfortable in any practice. He made all of us work every day for our playtime and he would let us know if we weren’t living up to that standard.
“Also, he made an environment where we were all so close. We wanted to go out to practice and play. He made that environment possible.”
Nostrant, who went over 400 wins at Haverford (in 24 years), said the seniors refused to allow the team to let down.
“No team has ever done we were able to accomplish, beating 14 top 25 teams,” said Nostrant. “Coming from behind against top level programs winning, winning in OT, winning 1-goal games, and always finding a way to win – the seniors were not going to be denied and they made everyone on the team feel valued.”
Ament said Nostrant always kept the team motivated and fresh with new ways to motivate the guys.
“One of the things that I loved about Coach Nostrant this year was he used different themes throughout the season,” Ament said. “The first theme was to play smart disciplined lacrosse. With the talent that we had, we still had to play smart lacrosse and he definitely led us through that.
“The second was having trust in each other. I think one of the reasons we were successful this year was because Coach brought us closer together as a family.”
Ament said Nostrant’s impact goes way beyond the field.
“Coach Nostrant is not only a great coach, but is person that always has my back and everyone’s on the team,” said Ament. “Whether it’s to talk about lacrosse, another sport, schoolwork, or personal issues, his door is always open for us. He is much more than a coach in my eyes. I consider myself so lucky to even be able to have played for him.”