Every coach out there will tell you they want to put their own special stamp on their program.
Shawn Billings will not only have that chance, but he will also draw the blueprint that will ultimately define the direction of the new Jefferson Academy boys lacrosse program.
Billings, the program director at North Denver Lacrosse, is excited about the new endeavor and is eager to get things going.
“I want to present a program that the community can be proud of and something that Jefferson Academy can really take a hold of,” Billings said. “There is a lot of good talent that feeds into that school and five different youth clubs that feed in, so I’m really excited about getting it going.”
Jefferson Academy athletic director Mike Wilson had a preliminary gathering of boys that might be interested in playing and was more than pleased with the turnout of student-athletes from all over the Broomfield area, as well as schools like Thornton, Horizon and Mountain Range.
Billings is confident that the Jaguars will be competitive right out of the gate, but isn’t making any big promises.
“I think we will come out and be competitive and be right in the mix,” said Billings, who played all four years in high school at Aurora’s Hinkley High. “I’m not saying we will be playoff contenders right away but there is a lot of good talent and a good group of kids who have played a lot before, so I certainly think we will be competitive.”
Wilson also announced that Amanda Ferrera is taking over the Jags’ volleyball program.
Ferrera, a club coach with the Legends program based out of Longmont, has been in charge of JA’s junior high program and is eager to get started.
“I develop the player and when you walk into a program, everybody is at a different level and you have an idea of where things want to go, but if you don’t develop the player with skills and fundamentals and the right attitude you won’t reach where you want to reach with your program,” said Ferrera, who takes over a program that went 8-14 for Janelle Bennett last season and was 3-7 in the Metropolitan League.
“That is where we are coming from this season on hopefully every season after that.”