There’s a new Lady Mustang in charge at South Western. Allison Lawhead was recently approved by the school board to take over the girls’ lacrosse program in 2015. Lawhead, who is a business teacher at South Western, will be taking over for Jim Kopenhaver, who was the only other coach in program history. Kopenhaver led the Mustangs to five consecutive YAIAA Division I titles.
Now it will be Lawhead at the helm. She has spent the last five seasons assisting with the lacrosse team, so there will be no lack of familiarity. The Middleburg, Pa.-native recently took some time to speak with GameTimePA about her expectations for this upcoming season.
Question: So where are you originally from?
Lawhead: I am originally from Middleburg, Pa. It is in the Selinsgrove area approximately two hours north of Hanover.
Q: Is this your first coaching gig?
Lawhead: It is not. I have been a coach at South Western for a total of nine years. My background is in field hockey. I spent five years coaching South Western field hockey at the junior high and junior varsity levels. A few years ago I was asked to help out with the lacrosse team. I grew to love the sport in no time and decided to shift my focus solely to lacrosse. This will be my fifth year with the team.
Q: Did you play lacrosse in high school or college?
Lawhead: I did not. Lacrosse was not a sport where I grew up at the time. Having no high school experience, I chose not to play in college.
Q: What was your first reaction when you were offered the job?
Lawhead: I am very excited at the opportunity to continue the tradition of success that we have had here at South Western.
Q: Do you know many of the players already?
Lawhead: I have been lucky enough to work with most of the upperclassmen for a number of years. I also know a lot of the younger players in our program as a result of our youth league.
I have also had to opportunity to teach most of my players. One of the great things about being an educator and a coach is seeing the players both in and out of the school setting.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?
Lawhead: Good weather!
Q: Is there any added pressure after how successful Coach Kopenhaver and his teams in recent years were?
Lawhead: Absolutely not. Jim created a great program and culture here at South Western. I was lucky enough to learn under one of the best coaches in the area and that is not something that every young coach has the opportunity to do. We are going to live in the moment and try to extend the successful run that the program has had. We have great coaches at every level and a ton of interest from elementary school through the high school level.
Q: When you’re not coaching lacrosse, what do you like to do?
Lawhead: When I am not coaching, I like to spend my time with my son. I am a first-time mom to a seven-month-old who keeps me on my toes, especially while my husband is coaching basketball during the winter season.