PHS names new lacrosse coaches

PHS names new lacrosse coaches

Pulaski High School has hired its head coaches and assistant coaches for its new boys’ and girls’ lacrosse programs.

Coaches are: Rich Thomson, boys head coach; Nick Feira, boys assistant coach; Jon Judkins, girls head coach; and, Ryan Freckman, girls assistant coach.

“We are excited for this opportunity for our Pulaski High School student athletes,” said PHS Athletic Director Janel Batten. “These four coaches will share their passion for the game with our students, and we are looking forward to watching them compete this spring.”

The Pulaski Community School District Board of Education on May 24 approved a recommendation to make boys and girls lacrosse a WIAA-sanctioned provisional club sport. This is after the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved the addition of lacrosse as a sanctioned sport in December 2022. Play will begin in spring 2024.

Lacrosse is a competitive sport, which is the modern version of the North American Indian game of baggataway, in which two teams of players use long-handled racket-like implements (crosses) to catch, carry or throw a ball down the field or into the opponents' goal. Athletes of any size can play as speed and agility, not necessarily size, are key skills for success in the sport.

Thomson is a Level III lacrosse coach and longtime official. He is a co-founder of Kimberly Lacrosse and is president of the Bay Valley Lacrosse Association, which runs youth lacrosse is the Green Bay, Fox Valley and Central Wisconsin areas. He’s also the commissioner of Pulaski Youth Football. Thomson is married to Amy and the couple have three children: Anika, a PHS graduate; Ricky, a PHS freshman; and, Marissa, a Lannoye Elementary fifth-grade student. They live in Hobart.

Judkins has lived in Pulaski since 2014. The Green Bay Preble graduate is married to Stacy. They have a son, Maxwell, and, a daughter, Emma. He coached the girls club team last season and coached the U8-U10 co-ed team and the U12 coed team for three years. He got involved in the lacrosse program when his son wanted to play and his interest grew from there.  

Fiera lives in Little Suamico with his wife, Jamie, and son, Mason, who is a junior defensemen on the PHS boys lacrosse team. He has been coaching with the Pulaski lacrosse program since 2020.

Freckman lives in Hobart with his wife, Kassie, and two children, Hailey, a PHS junior, and Ethan, a PHS sophomore. “I am relatively new to the sport.  I have played many sports over the years, but never lacrosse.  When my daughter asked about playing, I must admit, I was a little apprehensive with fear about injuries. Soon after my daughter picked up a lacrosse stick it was clear that she was hooked and that is when I had the opportunity to help Coach Judkins in the girls’ inaugural season as a club team.”

The team will play its home games at Four Seasons Park in Hobart.