“Lacrosse was my first love.” That’s one of the reasons Shoreham Wading River coach Mike Taylor knew he wanted to become a lacrosse coach. The 2019 season was a dream season for Taylor and the Wildcats. As the page turns to the 2020 season, Taylor is hoping to lead the Wildcats to their second consecutive State Championship. This year will be a little different as the Wildcats will now have a target on their backs being the defending State Champions, but Taylor and his team are ready to begin their quest to repeat. Read more about coach Taylor and his thoughts on the 2020 season in a recent interview with the LILJ.
Q. How did you get into coaching lacrosse?
A. After my college career ended, coaching was the logical next phase in my lacrosse career. Lacrosse was my first love. I owe so much to the game. Lacrosse taught me the skills to be a better teacher, father, coworker, friend, person. I feel very fortunate I have the opportunity to share my passion for the game with other athletes who have the same passion. I am grateful I have the opportunity to play a part in shaping athletes into better young men.
Q. What is it like being able to coach a winning program like SWR?
A. The transition from coaching college to HS was much more seamless then I ever imagined. I would accredit that to the program’s amazing history and culture, as well as the community’s loyalty and commitment to their athletes. Coaching at SWR is a privilege. I feel very lucky and look forward to every moment I am afforded to be part of it all.
Q. Was last season a dream come true for you?
A. Last season was amazing! It was very rewarding to see all the boys hard work payoff. It is something that every player, parent and family member involved will remember for ever.
Q. How do you make sure a hangover affect doesn’t get in the way of your goals for this season?
A. We won States last year. That’s over! That was the 2019 team. This 2020 team is aware that they will be remembered for what they accomplish next, not what they did yesterday. We are going to remain humble and hungry!
Q. What are some of the keys to repeating as state champions this season?
A. We will need to work harder than we ever have before. It is not time for us to take anything for granted. We understand the target that we have on our backs. We understand that we are going to get everyone’s best game. As a group we will need to make sure that we continue to keep each other accountable, support each other, and continue to exhibit the high character that led us to a State title.
Q. What are some of the characteristics you would use to describe this years team?
A. Our program has a set of core values. It is the three C’s, character, commitment and community. No matter how many players return year to year, our staff and our team leaders instill the importance of the three C’s. This particular group truly models the three C’s. They exhibit high character on and off the field, they are very committed and are involved in the community. Keeping to our core values will support us as we begin another arduous season.