Last month, the Leesville men’s lacrosse team landed a new head coach: Franklin Zirkle, a former state champion coach at East Chapel Hill and an administrator for the Carolina Hilltoppers club lacrosse program. The Mycenaean spoke to Zirkle via email about his reasons for choosing Leesville and his hopes for the years ahead.
Q: Why did you decide to take the Leesville lacrosse job?
A: While I wasn’t looking to coach again, Coach Spear and some of the parents took an interest in having me join the [Leesville] program. I have been really impressed by all of the players and their families, and once I had an opportunity to meet Coach [Jack] Rogers and learn more about the community, I was hooked. I must say, after attending the Athens Drive football game, I knew I had found a place to hang my hat.
Q: How will your experience from coaching lacrosse in the past aid your transition?
A: Over the past four years, I have watched a lot of lacrosse, both high school and college (my oldest son plays at Guilford College, my alma mater). I realize I’m not a very good fan, I cannot sit in a seat very long without viewing the field as a canvas, and knowing someone else has control of the brush. I’d rather be at the helm, teaching young men the game, helping players realize their potential, and creating a family, albeit one with a short shelf life, that sets its sights on the pinnacle of success.
Q: Do you expect your familiarity with some Leesville players through the Hilltoppers program to be beneficial?
A: While I do know many of the players, I expect them to all be very different in terms of their athleticism and resolve once we get to February. The coaching staff has challenged them to work harder this off-season than ever before. I learned that the success you enjoy in May is directly proportional to the work you accomplish in the fall and winter.
Q: What are your expectations for the Leesville lacrosse team, which has been successful in recent years, this coming season?
A: I only have one goal for the team and program, we must win our final game of the season. If we do that, everyone will be very happy with the outcome.