The world of sports is filled with different types of people. Some are intense, some are laid back, and some have a quiet competitiveness about them.
When you look at the Manheim Township Blue Streak Lacrosse Team, you see a team that can be very intense, a team that is disciplined, organized, with a fiery personality.
Where does this come from? The players’ give credit to their head coach, Dan Lyons.
But Lyons’s personality on the sidelines is typically anything but fiery. Normally he has a calm demeaner voicing instructions.
Lyons is known for giving out compliments to the opposing goalie as much as talking to his own team.
When asked before the game if his pregame speech could be recorded, Lyons smiles and says, “I let the kids handle it.”
“He lets us do a lot of talking to the younger guys,” says Senior Captain and Goalie Tyler Moritzen. “[We] teach them the ways us seniors have been learning for four years.”
Senior Attacker and fellow Captain Xander Johnson agrees and also loves Lyons’s coaching style.
“He lets us be creative, kind of makes it more player led,” said Johnson. “He lets all of us kind of work for our own strengths, he doesn’t try to change what people are, he knows everyone’s going to play their own strength.”
When already up big in game before the second period starts, a semi-circle forms around Lyons and not an eye leaves him.
Twice he says “Ready.”
His Blue Streaks respond “Focus.”
As one assistant goes to make a substitution while in the offensive zone, Lyons replies with a laughing smile, “He just got the middle and took a shot, let him stay.”
The decision was rewarded seconds later with a goal and coach, much to his delight.
“Coach Adams wanted to sub you off and I told you you had to stay,” says Lyons as the entire team laughs, including coach Adams.
Lyons has created a District III power and he just crossed the century mark in victories with 100 wins after defeating North Allegheny on Saturday, April 2. Win number 101 came on Tuesday, April 5 against Cedar Crest.
Just don’t try and tell Lyons his style is any type of secret sauce. He chalks it up to the community and their dedication to the sport.
“It’s really a testament to the strong youth program that we have and the history that was here even before I was here,” says Lyons. “Lots of kids love to play lacrosse— they come, they give 100 percent every day, and they make it all happen on the field.”
Manheim Township is no stranger to milestones. Their 2018 state title was the first Gatorade bath for a District III team in the sport.
“[There’s] A lot that we feel we need to live up to for the guys that came before us [and] the guys that are going to come after us,” says Lyons.
The short term goal Lyons says is to get back to being on top of the league and also District III. Johnson agrees that internal pressure drives the team forward.
“Everyone just kind of knows they have to do their role, I don’t think it’s a lot more pressure any more than just going out and playing,” he says.
Standings as of April 18th: