After stepping away from the coaching scene in 2016, Jim Scully came to the conclusion that he’s a really poor spectator to the game of lacrosse.
In seven years of head coaching the Hawken School boys, Scully accumulated an 85-41 record with two final-four appearances. He was named the coach of the year by the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association Northeast Region in 2015, after knocking off University School, 13-9, in the Division II regional championship that spring.
Scully resigned his position so he and his wife, Elizabeth, would be free travel back and forth from the College of Wooster to watch their son, Ethan, play his freshman lacrosse season as a starting defenseman for the Fighting Scots in 2016.
Although Scully said it was a special experience to see his boy succeed at something he really loves, the lacrosse dad wasn’t very good at watching the game from the stands and missed being on the sidelines.
On Tuesday night, the Gilmour Academy boys lacrosse team notched Scully his 100th career win during a 12-7 road battle against Kent Roosevelt, as the Lancers improved to 4-1 under their third-year head coach.
“Doing it at Kent means a lot,” Scully said of his century benchmark. “(Head coach) Chris Idone, his dad, John, was a respected adversary for years and years. So, it’s an honor to be coaching against his son, Chris Idone. There were epic battles between Hawken and Kent over the years, and so I was flashing back on those games.”
The last time Scully coached against the elder Idone, Hawken came away a 14-12 victor against the Rough Riders in 2015.
But more memorable was an overtime loss to Roosevelt in 2010, Scully said.
“I called a timeout as one of our guys scored in overtime, and then eventually we lost,” he said. “So, I cost us the game on that brilliant coaching maneuver.
“And thinking about all the great players who I had a chance to coach at Hawken, I was flashing back on them, for sure.”
Motoring Scully to the milestone victory on Tuesday night, Gilmour Academy senior midfielder Cisco Martinez scored a game-high six goals with one assist and seven groundballs.
The Chagrin Falls resident is also the only Ohio native on Gilmour’s prep hockey team this year.
“He’s having an incredible season,” Scully said of Martinez’s success on the lacrosse field. “He’s got 17 goals and six assists in our first five games, so he’s leading the way. The guy is just a workhorse. He’s all over the place. He’s an incredible athlete, a natural lefty and has great character as a captain for us.”
Academically, Martinez has been accepted to attend the College of the Holy Cross and Boston University but is still weighing in on his future hockey aspirations.
Also a prep hockey player making an impact on the lacrosse field, senior attackman Jesse Galassi, of Lockport, New York, scored two goals with one assist and six groundballs in the Lancers’ 12-7 victory against Roosevelt.
Local products, sophomore midfielder Robby Belknap, a Lancer lifer, scored one goal with two assists and four groundballs; sophomore attackman Tate Simpson, of Bainbridge, scored two goals; freshman attackman Shea Hofstrom, of Chester, scored a goal with an assist; and junior midfielder Ricky Roberts, of Solon, buried a tally.
After Gilmour went 11-18 during the last two seasons with Scully at the helm, the Lancers’ lone loss so far this campaign was an 8-7 home battle against Lake Catholic on April 10.
“I have to give a huge shout out to Audi Glass,” Scully said of his assistant, who has helped develop the Lancers’ program. Glass was a defensive coordinator at Solon, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the College of Wooster and a head coach at Western Reserve Academy, before becoming the dean of residential life at Gilmour.
“He’s added so much to our program because of his incredible knowledge of the game, his passion for the game,” Scully said. “He’s just a fantastic coach. I think of him as my coaching partner. We work together extremely well in getting boys at Gilmour interested. So, he’s been able to get kids on campus who are incredible athletes come out for lacrosse, which has really augmented the program.”
While Gilmour has 17 players who are seniors or juniors in the program this year, only seven of them were in the program as sophomores and freshmen in 2017.
But young guys are stepping up too. Between the pipes on Tuesday, Gilmour sophomore goalie Kessel Richards, of Moreland Hills, collected 13 saves.
“He had his best game, by far,” Scully said. “You could just tell when a kid is seeing it, and he was seeing right for the get-go and was just a real consistent ball-stopper for us tonight. We did our best job of clearing the ball, and that starts with him frequently, with nice, long throws down the field. He’s an incredible athlete, a competitor and a tough kid.”
The Lancers’ close defense, meanwhile, has assisted Richards in allowing just 4.4 goals per game through five outings.
Against Roosevelt, junior defenseman Bryce Hofstrom, of Chester, tallied five groundballs, and senior defenseman Trey Stein, of Hunting Valley, collected four groundballs.
Hofstrom and fellow junior Josh Miavitz have started since day one of their high school careers and rarely come off the field, Scully said.
“They’re incredibly tough, physically guys,” he said. “They have heavy checks, great feet and you could not ask for more from a close defender than those two. And Trey Stein was a Division II Region 6 second-team defender last year and a captain this year. So, he’s part of that group.”
Junior long-stick midfielder Aidan Muchnicki, who’s new to lacrosse, and sophomore long-stick midfielder Nick Kolar have also added to the defensive success, Scully said.
Perhaps what stood out most against Roosevelt was that seven of the Lancers’ 12 goals were assisted, the coach said.
“I’m proud of that fact, that we were getting good looks,” Scully said. “That’s been a pattern in all of our games, where guys are unselfish, their heads are up. We’re really preaching the importance of moving without the ball, moving on backside cuts. So, we’re seeing that get better every game, and the proof is in assisted goals.”
Up next, Scully will be after win 101 when the Gilmour boys host Cleveland Heights at 5 p.m. Thursday at Weber Stadium in Gates Mills.