Whether she realizes it or not, Michelle Lamarre-Walden rescued South River High School's field hockey program when she was appointed head coach yesterday by Athletic Director Jim Haluck.
Just four days after moving to Annapolis from Alexandria, Va., Lamarre-Walden found herself among about 60 field hockey players yesterday morning -- all eager to get the season started.
"For not knowing until last night that they had a coach, they were all there at 9 this morning ready to go," said Lamarre-Walden, a former head coach at Marshall High in Falls Church, Va. "They are really looking forward to the season, and I'm psyched."
She is joined by Laura Wolf, a Hanover, Pa., native now living inMillersville, who was named assistant coach.
Lamarre-Walden inherits a varsity team that went 5-8 last year under coach Laura Garner and earned its second straight playoff berth. Garner resigned after one season to join the Air Force.
"It's a big relief [finding a coach], but it's the same old problem, and again we're just putting a Band-Aid on [it]," said Haluck. "We just don't have enough teachers coming into the school that want to coach, and the people we bring in to coach only stay here until they find a real job."
Lamarre-Walden doesn't think that trend will continue.
"My husband and I just had a house built, so we hope to be here a while," she said. "I'm just hoping for a .500 record this year, but what I'll try to do is get younger players involved so we can build a program for the future."
Said Haluck: "Michelle is young and she played the sport in college and in high school, and she seems enthusiastic about the job. She's real organized and should be an asset to the program. She knows how to handle kids. They left today's meeting knowing what they had to do tomorrow."