Atlantic Shores Head Coach Wayne Lance (Photo: Sarah Murphy/recruit757)
Wayne Lance is now twelve years into coaching at Atlantic Shores
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
On Monday, the Chesapeake Sports Club hosted all of the High School Football coaches of Chesapeake to give them an opportunity to speak about their program.
Coach Wayne Lance has led the Seahawks for twelve years. He started his speech off by acknowledging the A.D. that hired him.
Mike Tribus was in the audience as the newly hired Activities Director at Indian River High School. He came to Indian River after serving as the A.D. at Hampton High School. Eleven years ago, he was the guy that hired Lance to be the head football coach at Atlantic Shores. Tribus was the head coach the year before.
Since that time, Lance built the program into a powerhouse that no VISAA team wanted to play earlier this decade, and he’s seen the program wane to where participation numbers were a concern.The Seahawks reached the VISAA Division II State Championship game just a couple of years ago, where they fell to a Lew Johnston coached Nansemond-Suffolk team.
“This is my 23rd year overall as a football coach and my 18th year as a head coach,” said Lance to the group assembled at the Chesapeake Sports Club luncheon. “Last year, we did not make the playoffs, so it gave me an opportunity to go around and see others coach. I watched Indian River play Maury (in a 76-41 shootout). I wrote down a lot of stuff that night. I saw Oscar Smith play. When we’re not playing, I like to see everyone else play. It’s awesome to see some of the quality men leading the (football) programs at various schools.”
Coach Lance painted a picture for the audience. High school coaches are truly in the trenches, raising up boys to become better young men through the game of football.
“These are great men. They love their kids,” Lance explained, speaking of his fellow high school coaches. “When something goes wrong, yeah, they may get upset. They’re trying to mold these guys because life is going to be the same way. Things are going to go wrong. They’re trying to help these young men move past that and go on to something else.”
Coach Lance has sent dozens of players off to play college ball. This year’s edition of Seahawk Football shows lots of promise after a lean year in 2017.
“At this time last year, I was probably pretty excited. I was coming off of a couple of winning seasons. We had lost one regular season game in two years. We followed that up by winning one game all year,” said the coach. “It was a learning experience losing 16 seniors (two seasons ago) and losing six seniors this past year. We feel a lot better coming into this fall.”
The Seahawks play all of their games at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. Five games out of their 11-game regular season schedule will be played at home. Most of those home games are in September this year. They’re an independent private school, so they schedule the games they can get. That’s why they ended up hitting the road for long trips a few years ago when a lot of programs didn’t want to schedule them.
Coach Lance closed his talk by reinforcing the value of the game of football when it comes to raising up young men in a positive manner.
“Our equipment is better than it’s ever been. Our coaching is better than it’s ever been. The resources are better than they’ve ever been. The way we train kids is far better than it’s ever been. Thinking about where it was when I played, some thirty years ago, and thinking about where we are now, it’s pretty exiting. I don’t go into a practice worrying about what’s going to happen to little Timmy. I know what’s going to happen. We’re going to get some good work in, we’re going to keep everyone as healthy as we possibly can, and just like I did, we’re going to learn a lot of valuable lessons and have lifelong friends from this great sport.”
The sport of football is in good hands at the high school level.
– Andy Hilton