All things EHS all the time


All things EHS all the time


All things EHS all the time


A new addition to coaching staff

Eureka Lacrosse Varsity Coach’s father steps up to coach the girls mentality

As this year’s lacrosse season began to shift into gear, the lacrosse coaching staff introduced a new addition to the team. As a surprise to many of the lacrosse program’s players and fans, the new staff member was a beloved fan and member of the Menchella family: John Menchella, Varsity head coach Melissa Menchella’s dad.

Mr. Menchella is excited to join the coaching staff, as he has always been an Eureka sports fan.

“It started when my son was here probably about five years before Coach Menchella as a student,” Mr. Menchella said. “When Coach Menchella started playing here, I became a bigger fan and especially with lacrosse. So I’ve always been a fan. It’s just enjoyable to take a bigger role in trying to help the program out and move them along hopefully for a greater success.”

Ms. Menchella recently recruited Mr. Menchella to the women’s lacrosse program at EHS, believing he could provide for the program what he provided for her.

“My dad was my basketball coach growing up, and when I would run cross country he would come to every meet,” Ms. Menchella said. “He was at everything for me and even when he wasn’t my coach, he would always give a lot of encouragement and would have talks about mindset. When I played lacrosse in college he wrote me a letter on all of my game days that I would read to motivate me before my game.”

Mr. Menchella has always been a major supporter and motivator to Ms. Menchella.

“He taught me a lot about the foundation of sports,” Ms. Menchella said. “A lot of what he taught me in basketball translated over to lacrosse too, such as using both hands when dribbling and with the stick. So I learned a lot growing up from the principles he taught me, which carried into from my fundamental playing to the elite game.”

Ms. Menchella credits her mom for the idea to include her dad in the coaching staff

“Since he’s retired, he’s been very invested in our team, program, and the girls, and he asks a lot of questions about them and gets
really excited about our games and what’s going on with the team in and out of season,” Ms. Menchella said. “So a lot of it came from my mom and her suggestion for him to get involved in our program.”

The idea was well-received.

“When I brought it up to my coaching staff they were all about it too because both my mom and my dad came to all of our games the past
couple of years so all the parents and coaches got to know them,” Ms. Menchella said. “So everyone already knew who he was before I hired him. When I told the girls, they knew exactly who he was and were all about it because of how much he really has invested into the program
even though he hasn’t been a coach.”

Ms. Menchella’s expectations are looking high for this season’s team with her dad on the coaching staff. When asked what all he has to offer to the team, she expressed two main things.

“One, he’s a good observer. He is really good at watching girls and seeing a lot of their strengths and what they do well and just general
constructive criticism that we need to point out to the girls,” Ms. Menchella said. “He’s really good at pulling them aside individually and talking to them about what they were doing well and what they need to fix.”

The other thing Mr. Menchella offers is his mindset.

“I have an inside joke on the team and we call him the team sports chaplin because once a week he does a mindset talk, where he gets the
girls together at the top field and he’ll talk about a different quote, video or topic that has to do with mental toughness, or prospective,” Ms. Menchella said. “He’s adding a lot to the coaching staff this year with the mental side of sports. As a coach, we focus a lot on the strategy and the coaching of X’s and O’s and increasing their fundamentals and their skill work. I’ve always done a lot about mindset and perspective but obviously, I emphasize on making them better athletes, so having him here to focus on just the mental game is really critical especially in the past few years with state. I think when we got second place both years, we put forth a good effort but I think something we need to improve is our mindset and how we handle pressure, stress, and anxiety out on the field and big time games against big time opponents. So I’m excited to see how we can work with that with his talks about mindset and mental toughness.”

Mr. Menchella’s past coaching experiences have given him a lot of knowledge.

“I was a varsity baseball coach back in upstate New York, and I did that for a few years. Some of the things I saw back then with my teams I’ve been able to make reference to this team,” Mr. Menchella said. “For example, I was telling the girls about a situation that was strictly
about the mindset of a player I had, and when I brought it up here I think it became very clear to the girls what I was telling them and what
they needed to do. So I’ve had some experience coaching at the high school level and a lot of years coaching youth teams with all my kids.”

Mr. Menchella also has clear goals and priorities for how he will help the team.

“My main priority is to not make them go backwards,” Mr. Menchella said. “They have been pretty successful already. Coach Menchella
asked me to come aboard to be the mentor for intensity and mindset. The girls have a great set of coaches to teach them skills, I’m not here to do that. I’m here to help them develop their mindset and intensity. And if I do that through a talk once a week or if when they’re practicing I’m walking around the field and I’m always pulling someone aside and talking to them about just that. The game isn’t won all the time with skill. Mindset and intensity plays just as big of a role and if I can help them develop in that regard then it’s a win. That’s really what I’m trying to do.”

The 2024 girls lacrosse team is having a promising season with the new coaching staff and overall so many new important aspects to the team.

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Haley O'Connell
Haley O'Connell, Reporter
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