Prep girls lacrosse coach of year: Paul Donley

Prep girls lacrosse coach of year: Paul Donley


Prep girls lacrosse coach of year: Paul Donley


A 10-10-1 record doesn’t look particularly impressive at first glance.

But considering five — or half — of those losses came against the two teams who played for the Division 2 state championship, it looks significantly better.

“We set the schedule to see where our team was at,” said Williamston/Haslett’s Paul Donley, the 2012 Lansing State Journal girls lacrosse coach of the year. “We started off the season 1-3 against some of the toughest teams in the state.”

Grand Rapids Catholic Central would finish ranked second in the state in Division 2, and Grand Rapids Forest Hills United and Rockford No. 4 and No. 6 in Division 1, respectively.

“Then we had injury after injury to deal with,” Donley said.

“But we kept putting things together even though it was patchwork.”

The most significant injury came when LSJ Dream Team selection Sierra Bain broke her thumb and missed four games.

“Her thumb was an issue the whole season after that occurred that she just played through,” Donley said.

Williamston/Haslett still managed to improve from third place in 2011 to secure its best-ever finish in the CAAC with a second place. The team then earned one MHSAA tournament victory (13-0 over Flint Carman-Ainsworth) before losing 12-4 to eventual state runner-up and CAAC champion Okemos.

“We played the fifth-toughest schedule in the state, and only two of those (four) teams had winning records,” Donley said. “The girls did really well, and they continued to play hard. It was the best lacrosse I had ever seen them play.”


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