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Spring Coach Spotlight: Jay Sothoron
Evan Hadrick

During this down time in athletics at ESD, we want to highlight all the programs (and their directors) whose seasons have been paused. There have been plenty of quality accomplishments by our athletes already this spring, so we're checking in with each of our spring sport program directors to give us some insight on their seasons, while also sharing some of their favorite athletic memories. Next up we have our Boys Lacrosse Program Director Jay Sothoron, who is in his second year at ESD after winning both the SPC and THSLL championships in his first season.

Provide some highlights of your season so far:

We are currently 5-3 losing the three but a combined five points.  Two of the losses were one goal affairs with local rivals Highland Park and Jesuit.  While disappointing to lose these games I'm proud of how our guys battled.  In the HP game we were missing four offensive starters due to injury.  I was proud of how our young guys did not back down and fought to the end.  I feel we had barely scratched the surface of what we were capable of this season.  We had a similar start last year and continued to improve.  We peaked at the right time winning the 2019 THSLL championship.  I feel hard losses teach you a lot and if you can learn from your mistakes, you can always be dangerous when it counts.  I understand the gravity of the situation we are in but I do hold out hope that we may be able to return at some point down the road.  We have a big group of seniors that have done a lot for this program and I'd hate to see their journey get cut short.

What is your favorite athletic memory? 

I would have to pick losing the JUCO National championship game when I was in college.  We were undefeated and #1 in the country until that loss.  In one sense it was the worst day of my playing career.  Although it was heartbreaking, it gave me a great appreciation for my teammates and coaches.  We all went through that pain together.  I started to realize that being a part of a storied program is not about one big win or one tough loss.  It made me appreciate every practice, every bus trip, and most importantly being a part of something so much bigger than myself.  That day made me realize this would be the last day I would ever compete with these guys again. Instead of feeling bad, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the experience.

What is your favorite coaching memory?

 I don't know if I could pick one.  I have three that stick out to me 

1) Coaching with my father and winning the WCAC conference championship.  It was special to share such a great achievement with my dad.

2) As a D2 head coach at Wheeling Jesuit watching a group of guys build a program.  They were 4-10 their freshmen year and they finished 12-4 making the conference tournament as seniors.  It was a tremendous group of young men!

3) Lastly was ESD winning the 2019 THSLL State Championship.  I loved seeing all of our players hard work pay off.

What do you love about coaching at ESD?

Coming from coaching in college for ten years I was worried about stepping down a level.  I love the competitive nature of college lacrosse and was pleasantly surprised at ESD's approach to lacrosse.  Our kids have bought in and want to compete at the highest level.  I love the college feel of our program and school.

What is one thing you would recommend all athletes in your sport do during this off-time?

One thing I would encourage during this off time is keep working on your game.  Lacrosse is unique that you can improve your stickwork in so many different ways.  Just keep your stick in your hands and stay active.  Lastly doing at home workouts also provide a break from the monotony of being stuck in their houses.

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