Schenectady girls’ lacrosse coach steps down

Brian Melanson has stepped down as the varsity girls’ lacrosse coach at Schenectady High School afte
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Brian Melanson has stepped down as the varsity girls’ lacrosse coach at Schenectady High School after guiding the Lady Patriots to their greatest season.

The 34-year-old Melanson, a Zoller Elementary School physical education instructor, will remain as head coach of the high school’s varsity boys’ swimming and diving team.

“I’ve spent a lot of time away from my family with the two sports. To manage both and be a good father, to give 100 percent to both, it’s impossible,” Melanson said. “It was a difficult decision because I really enjoy working with the girls, but for me, at this time, it’s the right decision.”

The Melanson family includes three children ages 5, 3 and 1.

“My philosophy ever since I began coaching — and what I always tell the kids — is family first, school second and team third,” Melanson said. “I have to live by that.”

The Schenectady lacrosse team posted a 12-2 record and finished second in the Capital District Women’s Lacrosse League this spring, and went 12-3 overall after a Section II Class A quarterfinal loss to Saratoga Springs. The Lady Patriots had never won more than seven games before, reaching that total during the 2005 season.

Schenectady scored in double digits 11 times this spring, and produced 12 goals or more in every game during an eight-game win streak to begin the 2009 season. That included a 20-8 win over Scotia-Glenville, Schenectady’s first-ever win against the Tartans.

“The girls believed in themselves,” said Melanson, who had CDWLL first-team all-stars in Sara Bonacquist, Taylor De­Thorne, Meghan Devlin and Sabrina Kristel. “They bought into the system, and they worked hard. It took some time, and this year, it all came together.”

Schenectady lost in the CDWLL only to Albany Academy for Girls, the league and Section II Class C champion.

Melanson began coaching the varsity team in 2004, and led Schen­ectady to four Section II Class A tournament appearances. He coached Schenectady’s mod­ified lacrosse team in 2001, and led its junior varsity team in 2002 and 2003 when the school did not compete at the varsity level.

“I do not know who will be coaching next year, but whoever it is, I’m hoping they can take it to the next level,” Melanson said.

Melanson has been in charge of Schenectady’s boys’ swimming and diving team since its inception in 2001. His Patriots have won the last four Aqua League championships, putting together an 18-0 league record during that impressive run. The Patriots went 5-0 in the league and 7-4 overall last season, including their first win over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

All-Americans

Luke Walsh of Shaker and Jack Bulmer of Glens Falls have been selected to the US Lacrosse Boys’ High School Academic All-America team.

The two seniors are among a group of 22 from the state of New York to receive the honor, which is based not only on academic excellence, but also sportsmanship, lacrosse skills and community/school service.

Walsh, a Hamilton-bound attackman/midfielder, was selected a Suburban Council second-team all-star this year. He produced the deciding goal in Shaker’s 8-7 double-overtime win against Christian Brothers Academy in the Section II Class A semifinals, and scored two more goals in an 8-4 title-game loss to Guilderland.

Bulmer, an attackman, was tabbed a Foothills Council first- team all-star.

Categories: High School Sports

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