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Re-appoint Riverdale's Lacrosse Coaches!

This petition had 950 supporters

Great teams need great coaches--and we want to keep the ones we have!

Riverdale High School's boys and girls lacrosse teams have made huge strides in the past two years under the leadership of Head Coaches Richard Williamson and Michelle Williamson. The improvements to the teams are truly astounding:

  • a record number of victories
  • increased player participation
  • a growing fan base
  • at least ten players being looked at by college programs
  • girls and boys who selected Riverdale so they could play under the Williamsons

Above and beyond

Our coaches work tirelessly for the Raider lacrosse community. They created a youth lacrosse program in the area, so elementary and middle school kids can learn the game and then play at Riverdale in a few years. They devote most weekends to the sport. They run a travel program, which is the source of the huge improvement in Riverdale players. Coach Richard, when he was coaching Estero HS's excellent team, was recruited by Riverdale's former Athletic Director and Principal to head the boys program. He was named Lee County Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year in 2017 in recognition of the enormous improvement to the boys program. Before he came, the boys had lost 87 games with only three victories. Last year was a 10-6-1 season. Coach Michelle is a leading travel lacrosse coach and a tireless trainer and teacher of the best kind of girls lacrosse. Her team just missed a playoff birth each of the past two years, despite half the team being new players. 

For reasons no one can determine--not the coaches, the teacher's union, or the parents or players--Riverdale's top administration, especially Principal Scott Cook, seems to be resistant to re-appointing the coaches who have done so much to improve the program. They don't understand the value of an experienced coach who knows the team and the sport.  Or the huge role sports has in shaping young men and women into ethical, hard-working adults. They don't understand that lacrosse teams are a family and the unshakeable bond between coach and player.

Can you imagine a math class to be taught by someone who can't do math? Or a high school allowing its football program to be coached by someone with NO experience? Of course not. But, the administration appointed a PE teacher who has absolutely NO experience in lacrosse to be head boys coach. And there's still NO girls coach. They told parents at Open House, "The team will do fine this year." But the parents and players know better.

Thankfully, that PE teacher resigned the lax coach job. Maybe he realized that all the other coaches in the area have an average of 20+ years experience in the game. Or maybe he realized that what's best for the team is to keep the winning combination of coaches and players in place. 

What's at stake?

Peak performance. Conditioning. College scholarships. A winning season. Team chemistry forged over six seasons of high school and travel lacrosse. The reputation of Riverdale as a school that values its student athletes and coaches and the hard work they all put in every day. All that, and for some of us much more.

With all of the other area coaches already hired and with conditioning well under way, Riverdale cannot afford to handicap its student athletes with inexperienced coaches and no pre-season conditioning program. It's not fair to our kids who've worked so hard. Since no valid reasons have been offered despite dozens of attempts, the parents and players of Riverdale Lacrosse feel it's time to show our unity behind our coaches. 

We need our coaching team! 

The Coaches Williamson are dedicated to our student athletes. Every week, they...

  • run a sophisticated conditioning program that has our players in top shape,
  • spend weekends teaching new players,
  • are in contact with collegiate coaches so Riverdale's players can get scholarships,
  • are on the board of directors of the local lacrosse organization, expanding opportunities for all players,
  • check on player grades to make sure they are doing well,
  • make sure players follow school rules and behave properly on and off the field.

Riverdale Lacrosse was the joke of the league, losing almost every game for a decade UNTIL the Coaches Williamson stepped in to turn things around. They've had our back, now we must have theirs! Riverdale Lacrosse is not just a team, it's a family. 

Help us show the Riverdale administration that we have a great thing going with the lacrosse program. It's not broke, so don't fix it. Give us back our coaches! We have more to lose than just lacrosse games. 


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