Coach inducted into Potomac Hall of Fame

By Andrew Chan, Assistant Sports Editor

WCHS has been home to a successful lacrosse program for many consecutive seasons. This continued success is due in no small part to longtime coach Jeff Fritz.

Fritz, who has helped WCHS varsity lacrosse teams dominate for years, is soon to be honored as an inductee into the US Lacrosse Potomac Chapter Hall of Fame. Fritz will be the second MCPS coach to be ingrained in lacrosse history Feb. 9 among many of Potomac’s greatest lacrosse coaches and players.

“I am so proud to represent WCHS, my family and the community with this recognition,” Fritz said.
Fritz first began playing lacrosse as a junior at Seneca Valley High School (SVHS) during P.E. class. Fritz enjoyed the sport so much that he helped start the first ever MCPS lacrosse team at SVHS.

Fritz started playing lacrosse later than others, but had a clear aptitude for it. He was talented enough to be invited to play in the DC Metro Area All-Star game, where the best high school lacrosse players in the area showcase their talents. His endeavors with the sport continued past high school and into college, where Fritz played lacrosse at Frostburg State University. Even after his playing years were over, Fritz did not split up with the sport. To Fritz, lacrosse was not just a sport, but an important part of his life.

“Ever since I picked up a lacrosse stick, the game has impacted every aspect of my life,” Fritz said.

Lacrosse has helped Fritz find opportunities in life that are connected with the sport he loves. It was how he garnered his first teaching job. It has also helped Fritz gain an assistant coaching job at SVHS and a head coaching job at WCHS.

Lacrosse has become integrated with Fritz’s family as well. Fritz’s wife works as a statistician and manager at WCHS games. As for his mother, she filmed games for the first 15 years of Fritz’s career and has baked chocolate chip cookies for his players. Fritz’s brother worked as his assistant and Fritz’s father looks after Fritz’s kids during games. Even Fritz’s two kids are involved with the game of lacrosse, as they collect balls at games for WCHS.

“My entire family is involved someway with WCHS Lacrosse,” Fritz said.

During his 25 year tenure as a coach with WCHS, Fritz has racked up many impressive achievements. Fritz has an all-time record of 273-107. His 273 wins put him at the top of the all time wins list for Md. public school lacrosse coaches. Fritz has coached WCHS’ many teams to 6 regional championships, 6 state semi-finals and 2 state championship appearances. Because of his success as a head coach, Fritz has been awarded Coach of the Year five times throughout his storied coaching career.

Coach Fritz has helped build the WCHS lacrosse program from the ground up. When Fritz joined the program in 1994 as the head coach, the lacrosse team was merely a club sport. Fritz was the one who helped secure varsity status for the WCHS program. He even began the JV program, which has helped develop many WCHS lacrosse players and prepare them for Fritz’s varsity teams. He has helped turn the once club sport into a Md. lacrosse powerhouse. When Fritz joined the staff in 1994, the team had been 1-9. After he took over, the program took off, and Fritz never looked back.

“In my first year, we went 5-7, made it to the playoffs for the first time and I was elected the MCPS Coach of the Year,” Fritz said.

Fritz does not just want to be remembered for his many wins and awards. He wants to leave a lasting impact on the community at WCHS and Md. as a whole. During his 25 years with WCHS, Fritz has seen many lacrosse players come and go. Fritz does not just want the young men he coaches to leave as good lacrosse players, but also as good people.

“I am just trying to push our players to be the best [people] they can be, both on and off the field, so they can be productive members of society, all through lessons on the lacrosse field,” Fritz said.