Team England, the current European Lacrosse Champions, are coming to The Derryfield School on the weekend of October 19-20. As part of their preparation for the upcoming World Lacrosse Championships in Denver, CO in July 2014, they will play a series of exhibition games against local colleges in New England. During their stay at Derryfield, they will face off against two local lacrosse powerhouses, Dartmouth College on Saturday, October 19, and UMass on Sunday, October 20.
Team England’s relationship with Derryfield is twofold. Derryfield alumnus, Matt Bagley, ’97, is the team’s head coach. Matt moved to England in 2008 to teach English and history and coach lacrosse at The American School in Surrey. Through his work at the school, he came to the attention of the English Lacrosse Association, and became a member of the Men’s Team in 2008. After helping them win a gold medal at the 2008 European Championships, and take fifth place at the 2010 World Championships, he was named Head Coach in June, 2011.
He and Derryfield’s current Men’s Varsity Lacrosse coach, Chris Hettler, met in 2009, when Matt paid his first visit to Derryfield since graduating. As they discussed ways for the two programs to work together, they became friends. So, when an assistant coaching position opened on Team England in 2011, Matt approached Chris about taking it. Chris accepted, and went to England five times during 2011-2012, preparing for the European Championships in the summer of 2012. In preparation for the World Championships next summer, Chris spent a week training in England this past summer, and plans four more trips over the coming school year. In the meantime, he posts YouTube videos with drills and skills he wants the team to work on, and stays in touch by Skype and email. Modern technology makes coaching “across the pond” possible!
At home, Chris has brought his Derryfield boys Varsity squad from a club level team in 2002, to one of the top teams in the state, winning two State Championships, in 2010 and 2013.
The Team England exhibition games will occur on Saturday, October 19 at 10 a.m. vs. Dartmouth College, and Sunday, October 20 at 1 p.m. vs. UMass.