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Q&A: Westminster High lacrosse coach John Brown on his career, what type of players he wants on his team, post-pandemic plans

John Brown, left, took over as Westminster's varsity girls lacrosse coach in 2020.
John Brown, left, took over as Westminster's varsity girls lacrosse coach in 2020. (Courtesy Photo)

Westminster High School girls lacrosse coach John Brown is in his 29th year of coaching, having started at North Carroll High.

Brown was an assistant coach with the Panthers’ boys lacrosse team in 1991 under former athletic director and longtime coach Ed Powelson, a Carroll County Sports Hall of Famer. Brown also coached baseball, golf and basketball, and coached varsity girls basketball at North Carroll from 2002-2012. He was an assistant girls lacrosse coach at Manchester Valley from 2013-2018 until he switched to Westminster to assist former coach Jackie Stevens.

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Brown took over for Stevens after the Owls captured their second straight Class 3A state championship last May.

The Times caught up with Brown to discuss his coaching history, dedication to Carroll County, and future for the Owls’ girls lacrosse team in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Q: What is the most rewarding thing about coaching in Carroll County?

A: Being a part of a community that I grew up in. I love teaching and coaching in the same community. You get to see the players develop and grow into young adults while playing here and then to see them graduate college, get married, land jobs and start their families is an awesome feeling as well.

Q: What is one of your favorite coaching memories and why?

A: All of the state championships have great memories but I would think the [2005-06] girls basketball team [at North Carroll] is one of my fondest memories. It was close to my start in varsity basketball and we weren’t winning much but that group was so close to each other and worked so hard. We went 3-19 that year but had the best team atmosphere and they taught me a lot about what was important with sports. I have used many of those lessons when putting teams together since then. Find dedicated, passionate players and eliminating drama is a great start to success.

Q: How will the Westminster girls lacrosse program move forward in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of the 2020 season?

A: We had 45 girls in our program this year, 19 of them were freshmen and 11 were sophomores. They were able to get a small taste of the culture and expectations we have here from our upperclassmen leaders and that should help them fill the roles of the eight seniors that we will be losing. The coaching staff is excited about what we have returning for sure.

Q: What are some ways the girls have continued to stay connected and involved during the pandemic?

A: We Zoomed a little and girls recorded their trainings daily in our team app. Some really have been putting in the work but my most favorite team activity was their lip-sync battle. They made videos that we put on social media and they were a big hit in the community.

Q: What are you most looking forward to next season?

A: Any time back on the field with the players coaches and our school community. Coaching is about teaching for sure but it’s also about the relationships you make being around people every day. It isn’t the same on a video screen.

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