By Jerry Del Priore
Who says you can’t go home again?
Michelle Poole, a 2005 graduate of West Morris Central who served as captain of the girl’s lacrosse team in her senior campaign, has taken over the lacrosse coaching reigns for a squad that struggled last season with a 1-15 record.
After two years as an assistant coach at WMC (2012, 2013) and spending the next four coaching Randolph — two as an assistant and two as a head coach — Poole returned to lead the program because she wants to restore a winning attitude. Plus, she said it fits into the logistics of her busy schedule as a mom to four children: a six-year-old son, and three girls, ages five, three and 16 months, and it’s close to her home.
In addition, her husband, Chris Marold, coaches wrestling, JV girl’s soccer and teaches at the Chester school.
“I’m more comfortable with West Morris Central because it’s my alma mater, and I want to win here,” Poole said. Plus. she continued: “It makes it easier for me and my family to coach here since I have four kids. I can always hand off the kids to my husband because he’s at the school,” Poole quipped.
The 31-year-old former Pingry School girl’s lacrosse head coach (2010-11) said her first order of business has been getting the team to play more like a team, in what is a retooling season for the club, she noted. After all, there have been so many changes going on for the girls Wolfpack lacrosse program this year.
But she said they’re adjusting by utilizing a diligent work effort while relying on their lacrosse intelligence.
“It’s all over a rebuilding season — new coaches, new players, new conference; it’s all new,” said Poole, who’s also an assistant coach for the girl’s soccer team for the past seven years. “We’re learning to play as a cohesive unit. They’re working hard. They have a good lacrosse IQ, which makes it easier to coach them.”
But things are already looking up for West Morris Central, as the young squad won its first two games of the campaign, already surpassing last year’s victory total.
A big reason for the Wolfpack’s success has been the lone senior on West Morris Central, midfielder Emily Hoskin, and a bunch of juniors who’ve improved their performance from last season.
“The one senior (on the team) is doing great things — Emily Hoskin, who’s committed to Division III Moravian College (Pennsylvania),” she said.
Additionally, attack-women Caroline Compoli, midfielder Lauren Campoli, midfielder Caitlyn Lawrence, defender Madelyn Ligos, midfielder Sarah Miller and goalie Emma Ortiz have all been contributing in positive ways.
Poole hopes the girls are bestowed with the same quality things she got from playing lacrosse and other sports, such as going to a good college and developing a solid work ethic that will help them mature as women while achieving success in their lives.
“It (lacrosse) definitely helped me get into a big-time school,” explained Poole, who attended Rutgers University on an athletic scholarship. “It was a great experience for me. I treated it like a job, because lacrosse was paying for me to go to school. It was a great transition for a high school student to a college student, and into the real world.”
“Playing lacrosse has been responsible for a lot of good things in my life,” she continued. “Everything happens for a reason, and lacrosse has been a big part of it.”
As for being happy and excited to be serving as the new girl’s lacrosse head coach, she said she hopes her stay is a long one.
“As long as the board allows it,” Poole said, “I hope to coach at West Morris Central for a long time.”