New Abington Boys' Lacrosse Coach Working with Wet Bandits
Ryan Greer comes to the Galloping Ghosts from St. Joe's Prep
In the nearly two months since becoming the Abington High School boys’ lacrosse coach, Ryan Greer has learned about a juggernaut that has won five straight Suburban One League Championships.
That kind of success starts with Wet Bandits Lacrosse in the fall.
"The big thing for them to realize, especially in the fall, is that it's about developing and creating good habits," Greer said.
Though unlisted on the coaches’ page, Greer has spent much of the autumn working with the Bandits, which includes some key upperclassman who will make up the Galloping Ghosts for the high school season, and taking notes on player skills and mental approach.
Greer arrives from St. Joseph's Prep, where he served as the associate head coach for the 2011 state finalists. As a player, he helped Ridley win two state championships and later was a two-time all-conference midfielder for Cabrini College.
He spent five additional years as a coach at Cabrini and helped guide the Cavaliers to five straight Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championships, then moved to St. Joe's for the next three years.
"My philosophy is straight forward," Greer said. "I expect hard work in the classroom and on the field, and I respect what the Abington jersey represents. We have a lot of senior leaders who will be mentors to the underclassmen and help us win this year."
The Ghosts haven't lost a conference game since May 2006 and have an established track record under former coach Randy McNeill, who resigned during the summer to focus on his business ventures. A talented corps of Ghosts return in Josh Kluver, Matt and Gage Gormley, Will Dulin, Max Malloy and Ryan Ambler.
"It's one of the premier jobs," Greer said. "When you look at the youth league programs — and that's something I always looked at — they develop top talent. No matter how good a coach I am, it's about the Jimmys and the Joes more than the Xs and Os. I'm not a good coach unless I have good players. You go from Abington youth lacrosse to Abington High School lacrosse, and you want to be with those guys. You want that maturation process as a group, not just as an individual."
In addition to working with his own future players, Greer also gets the added benefit of scouting the competition, as the Wet Bandits also employ players from Upper Dublin, Upper Moreland, Central Bucks South, Hatboro-Horsham and Neshaminy High School.
The key is getting to know the Ghosts.
"He's a great guy and already has the respect of everyone on the team," said Ryan Ambler, who has committed to Princeton in the fall. "Randy was a great guy and helped us out, but it's good to have a new coach to teach a different way. He's a great coach with a great background and is gung ho about making us better lacrosse players and better people."
The 2011 season ended Saturday at the Tri-Lax Lacrosse Fall Festival, a 10-team round-robin style tournament held at Mercer County Park, in Princeton Junction, N.J. The Wet Bandits won their first two games, then dropped the final two by one goal each.
A week earlier, the Wet Bandits varsity squad competed at the F4 Showbine, in Flemington, N.J., going 2-1. While wins are nice in fall lacrosse, the main goal is to hone skills and develop work habits.
"Sometimes, I like to lose more than win because they get to fix stuff," Greer said after the F4 Showbine. "The big thing is for them to realize, especially in the fall, that it's about developing and creating good habits."
This applies to Greer, too.
"I know the [Ghosts] have high expectations and it is my job to help them accomplish their goals by giving them direction," Greer said. "We want to build on the past accomplishments and have a long, successful run in the state playoffs."