Mike McTeagueFallston McTeague said his coaching philosophy is a bit cliche - working the team hard in practice so the players can get better every day. That sure worked for the No. 5 Cougars, who polished off a 17-2 season with one of the most dominating performances in state tournament history when they routed then-No. 3 Mount Hebron, 16-1, for the Class 3A-2A title, their first state lacrosse crown.
"I think I can get kids to play together and I can get them organized on the field, but otherwise, it's something special," McTeague said. "They believed, and that's the hardest thing. I don't know if you can coach it. I don't think a lot of teams take the field against Mount Hebron and believe they can win. They would hope they could win. These kids believed they could win."
Although McTeague gives a lot of the credit to his players, he fostered a team focus while allowing the players the freedom to do what they did best, especially on attack.
The Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champs played a good nonleague schedule that included losses to No. 12 South River and Roland Park by a total of three goals. Against Mount Hebron, they played a near-perfect game, especially on defense.
In a banner year for Cougars girls sports, McTeague also led the girls basketball team to an improbable state championship - also its first - over Paint Branch. He is 46-20 in four years as head lacrosse coach.
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