Morning Jac: Mars Hill Welcomes Familiar Face
Mars Hill head coach Dave Klarmann has been around for a while. It's been 23 years since he won a national championship as the skipper at North Carolina, and as such, he's grown numerous branches on his coaching tree.
He'll face his newest bough on Sunday.
That's when the Lions will entertain Pfeiffer in a non-league contest. The first-year head coach for the Falcons is Jason Lange, a Mars Hill graduate ('09) who apprenticed under Klarmann for the past two seasons.
At one level, Klarmann is pleased to welcome Lange back.
"First off, I'm happy he got a coaching job at 25 or 26 years old. That's pretty good," Klarmann said. "I was 40 when I got to be the head coach at Carolina. He's got a leg up at a young age."
On a different plane, Klarmann feels that he and his former protégé are secondary components in Saturday's engagement.
"I don't feel like I'm playing against Coach Lange," Klarmann said. "Our guys have to play their guys and hopefully the coaches do the best for each team. I'm not stressed out about it, but I'm excited about possibly getting a 'W' against a team that has better guys than us right now. That's the way it goes. Jason has stepped into a situation where he has a bunch of nice seniors who have been there. When you have a big senior class in lacrosse, you tend to have a lot more wins than when you have a big sophomore class. That's what I've seen over the decades."
Hosting his former sidekick is just the first part of a brutal February slate for Klarmann and Mars Hill.
It is followed by a home contest against national runner-up Mercyhurst next Saturday and then capped off with a Thursday duel with semifinalist Adelphi. Before the calendar flips to March, the Lions will have played one of the toughest schedules in the country.
Scheduling Pfeiffer was a nod toward Lange – "It was the right thing to do," Klarmann said – but the other two just made sense.
"Mercyhurst and Adelphi both called to say they were coming down and if they are down here and playing someone else, they might as well play us, too," Klarmann said. "We have a facility that, unless we get a blizzard, we can play on. We have an all-turf stadium and it's pretty nice. So what the hell? If you lose, you lose."
Klarmann, who is entering his third season with the Lions, doesn't have everything lined up the way he wants, but he has three guys who he'll be leaning on while the rest of the spots are up for grabs. Attackman Jimmy McBride, middie Anthony Malcolm and goalie Patrick McMahon are the anchors for Mars Hill, but Klarmann needs the rest of the roster to play more efficiently – something he saw during the preseason scrimmage with Limestone.
"We have to find some other people," Klarmann said. "And we're going to find out quickly against Pfeiffer, Mercyhurst and Adelphi. You can't hide against those guys."
It starts with Pfeiffer and a familiar face on Saturday.