SOUTHINGTON — Lacrosse has been a life passion for Dave Sargent.
The New York native grew up playing the game in the suburbs of Albany and got into coaching right out of college.
Now a Southington resident, Sargent takes up varsity reins in his new town. The 36-year old has been hired to coach Southington’s girls lacrosse program.
Sargent replaces Jill Pomposi, a 2005 Southington grad who coached the Blue Knights from 2014 through 2019.
Sargent, along with coaching at Johnstown Senior High School in New York, has been a club coach both in New York and Connecticut.
He was involved in Southington Youth Lacrosse for a period of time before his work in modular construction took him back to New York, where he coached the Scorpion Lacrosse Club.
“I pretty much coach lacrosse year round,” Sargent said.
Last year, Sargent was an assistant at the high school level, but would still commute back to Southington when he could. Work brought him back to Southington as the school’s girls lacrosse job opened up.
“We welcome Dave to high school coaching in Connecticut after getting a lot of experience in New York,” said Southington Athletic Director Steve Risser. “We are looking forward to his contributions to the Blue Knights girls lacrosse program.”
Sargent inherits a team that went 8-8 last year and advanced to the state tournarment. He knows many of the Blue Knights from coaching the “Dark Knights,” a club team comprised mostly of players from central Connecticut.
“I have a lot of the girls as a part of the Dark Knights,” Sargent said. “I have a great relationship with the team. They are very strong athletically. The team gets great support from the school and the booster club. It’s a perfect job situation and it made sense for me to apply for the position. It was just a perfect fit.”
Sargent said he has three pillars to his coaching style: teaching, competitiveness and fun.
“My job is extension of the school district,” he said. “There are so many life lessons and learning the importance of teamwork. I also want the girls to be competitive in practice and in games. We like to mix our practices up with mini-competitions, and that always being competitive in practice will translate into being ready to compete on game day.
“Finally, we need to have fun,” he added. “Winning comes second. You have to have fun. You will bond more as a team if you have fun. We will have fun built into our practices and we will have Fun Fridays, which will include different competitions that may not be lacrosse related.”
Whenever the Blue Knights take the field — in light of the coronavirus crisis, with Connecticut schools shut down, the CIAC has suspended the start of the spring season — Sargent has high expectations.
There are 12 returning seniors, including four-year players Emma Doran, Brooke Lynch and Amy Chudy. Goaltender Mackenzie Brown is heading Division I UMass-Lowell.
“We have a lot of talent and our expectations are high,” Sargent said. “We want to compete in the CCC for the conference title. We want to go to the state tournament and make some noise.”