Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

April 7, 2016 — On the edge of history

Tomorrow, as she has done for the last 40 years on a girls’ lacrosse gameday, Kathy Jenkins will pull on a light blue polo shirt. She will don a colorful fish necklace. A set of oversized sunglasses will go on her temples.

And she will step into the coaching box like she has every game day at Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) — a coach expecting her team to fulfill the team’s game plan with skill and speed.

Only this day will be unlike any other. With a win at home Friday against visiting Walton (Ga.), Jenkins would record her 701st coaching win. That would be one more than the most known victories by a scholastic girls’ lacrosse coach, 700 by the legendary Angela Tammaro of Greenwich (Conn.) Academy.

The reason we use the term “most known” is that the National Federation of State High School Associations does not yet publish a category for career victories in girls’ scholastic lacrosse. And indeed, these two coaches are in private-school leagues, although they play under the same basic on-field rules as their private-school sisters, since all rules originate from U.S. Lacrosse.

Jenkins, as a coach, is one of a kind. She was one of the first coaches to travel to play teams like Moorestown (N.J.) and Vero Beach (Fla.). She’s played in invitationals against the likes of Ellicott City Mount Hebron (Md.) and Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.). And it was in a 2007 match against the latter when Jenkins’ crew pulled off a famous 4-2 victory.

Kathy Jenkins has been blessed with tremendous players over the years. There was all-time goal-scoring ace Carly Reed, the fluid midfielder Kathleen Miller, attacker Jenny Hauser, assist machine Besser Dyson, attacking midfielder Kelly Austin, former Georgetown All-American Melissa Biles, two-time Team USA gold-medalist Maggie Vaughan, and hundreds of others who have worn their school colors with pride.

The accomplishments are staggering: 28 conference tournament championships, 24 ISL regular-season, eight VISAA titles. What’s also amazing is that, in an era when playing 20 games in a season is considered a good enough resume, Jenkins’ Saints have sometimes played upwards of 33 games a season.

That’s full-on games, people. Not scrimmages, not exhibitions.

So, today offers a second chance at history with the home game against Potomac School. The Saints lost a chance to give her the outright mark last Saturday during the silver-anniversary of the Spring Fling when they dropped a close match to Olney Good Counsel (Md.).

But that’s the peril of winning and losing. And Jenkins has had more than her share of the former over the years.

If you’re anywhere within shouting distance of northern Virginia this afternoon, go see the Saints play. It’s history in the making, only a few months after Emmaus (Pa.) head coach Susan Butz-Stavin took over the all-time lead in field hockey wins.

Funny how history repeats itself in different sports, no?


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