FCHS Welcomes New Girls Lacrosse Coach
November 21, 2019
Fluvanna County High School has welcomed a new head lacrosse coach for their girls lacrosse program. Athletic Director Scott Morris has announced the choice of Jenny Payne as the new head coach for both JV and varsity girls lacrosse. Morris brought her back thanks to her coaching style and techniques. Payne originally started the girls lacrosse program nearly a decade ago, and coached for three seasons prior to leaving FCHS in 2015.
Although the program is still recovering from the passing of former Head Coach Heath Hughes, both Morris and Payne believe that there will be positive changes to the program, including an emphasis on encouraging new players. “Our mission here at FCHS Athletics is to provide opportunity for all students and make the atmosphere a good place to play in this program, as well as to continue to work hard to improve the record,” said Morris.
Despite the season being a few months away, Payne wants to ensure that the girls on both JV and varsity understand her style of coaching and what she wants to achieve. She said that while winning is good, she would rather focus on small things such as character development, friendship, and fun. “My favorite thing to see is how much the girls grow and develop,” she explained.
Payne is encouraging current players and even new students to practice during the off-season. “Pick up your stick daily,” she advises. “Most great players are built in the off season,” she added. As new faces show up to tryouts, Payne wants to make sure that everything is equal among players. Official tryouts will start Feb. 24, but interested players should consider winter conditioning, which starts in January when students return from winter break.
While the program will indeed have many changes this year, Payne hopes to make a special connection with all of the girls. She said that her technique of coaching is very different, and that she likes to focus on both offensive and defensive skills throughout the upcoming season. “Conditioning is good, but stick work is more important,” said Payne, who also encourages players to develop good stamina.
One of Payne’s main coaching characteristics that stood out to Morris during the selection process was her commitment to coming back to help the girls. “I think Coach Payne will have an immediate impact. She will not only look to improve our young ladies’ skills, but make them better adults as they move on and graduate,” said Morris.
Payne’s background in lacrosse includes playing on a college team while at the University of Mary Washington, which is a D3 league. Payne said she hopes to bring that experience with her to the upcoming season. “Show improvement to win,” said Payne, who wants to help students not only attain skills and new friendships, but to also work and grow as a family.
Payne teachers ESL (English as a Second Language) at Central/West Central in the morning, and at FCHS in the afternoon. She has two children, including Lizz, who played for the girls lacrosse program when she attended FCHS. Outside of her work at FCHS, Payne loves to travel and has been to Ukraine 15 times to help children with special needs and children who do not have homes.