(NOTE AUTHOR: ASHLEY MANN)
After his first year as the Mercer men’s lacrosse head coach, Jason Childs said he hopes to build the program further in his upcoming years.
Cluster: Seeing that Lacrosse is mainly a northern sport, how do you hope it will catch on in the state of Georgia being its first NCAA division I team?
Childs: I think it actually has caught on at the high school level. There are 62 high schools that have lacrosse teams. There are four more colleges that start next year too. I am just glad we are on the forefront and not coming in on the back end of it, and Mercer is going to blaze the trail for it.
CL: In your first season of coaching, what do you hope to do for the program?
C: Getting it off the ground and let the chips fall where they may with the wins and losses. Make sure the guys are committed. All the stuff on the field will come naturally if we keep doing what we are now.
CL: How are you able to get your team a position where they are now able to play at a Division I level? You have done it twice, with Mercer and Presbyterian College.
C: Through hard work. You can’t speed up the process. You just have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. I am holding the guys to a standard and a level that is impossible at some points, but if we aim for that then we are always going to be at that level. It is also making sure that they get better in their free time. But it is mainly getting your hands dirty and doing the work.
CL: Although your first season has started out rough, what changes do you hope to make next season to produce more wins?
C: I think we are bringing in a great recruiting class, and I am really excited about them. I think it would be interesting to see how the team would play in double headers and seeing how they would play the game differently.
CL: How did you become involved in playing lacrosse?
C: The high school that I went to had lacrosse. I was pictured in a helmet at two, and holding a stick at six months. You are just around the game so it is easy to get involved.
CL: Who has been the most influential person to you?
C: I think I would say T.W. Johnson, the first coach I worked with at a collegiate standpoint. I think I learned how to do this the right way. How to work hard when things aren’t going our way and we don’t have the resources we need or want. There is no easy shortcut to get better, just working at it.
CL: What do you enjoying doing in your spare time?
C: I have a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and my wife and I are expecting a third. So my spare time is very limited. Usually, my wife and I would go on a date and go back to how it was when we were married six months and no kids.
Mercer’s lacrosse team will close the season against Holy Cross this next week. After 12 games in their inaugural season, the Bears’ record stands at 1-11.