March 10, 2021

By SOPHIA BUCKLEY-CLEMENT

BRANDON — Otter Valley High School has hired a new head coach for its varsity boys lacrosse team, fulfilling a dream in the process.

“I think Coach [Matt] Clark is very organized,” OVHS athletic director Steven Keith said. “He’s passionate about lacrosse, he’s very experienced in a lot of different coaching levels, and I’m happy to have him bring some of those experiences from programs outside of our area. The teaching skills and expertise he has hopefully will help elevate and continue to grow the program that has been on a good path for the past years that we’ve been here.”

Clark, 35, was first hired by Otter Valley as the 8th grade social studies teacher just last fall. When previous coach Jesse Milliman was unable to return for the coming season, Clark said he jumped at the chance to coach his own team.

“I saw the position open up and it’s been my dream to be able to coach varsity boys lacrosse at the place I’m working,” he said. Though the team was unable to play last season because of the pandemic, both Keith and Clark are hopeful that the team will adapt.  

“We’re still awaiting guidelines in terms of how the season’s going to look,” Keith said. “We’re hopeful that the season will be fairly similar to a normal spring season for all of our spring sports. When that comes, we can kind of figure out how it changes and what we need to do.”

Having graduated from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. as a four-year collegiate lacrosse player, Clark immediately dove head first into the coaching circuit.

In addition to his previous work as a high school junior varsity head coach, a varsity assistant, and as a member of the Boston Kings Lacrosse Club coaching staff, Clark’s tenure in Vermont has involved engagement with the Barre Youth Lacrosse Club as well as an assistant collegiate coaching position at the now defunct Green Mountain College.

When asked what’s on the horizon for OV’s varsity boys lacrosse team in the coming weeks, Clark said he’s excited to get himself and his players out on the field again.

“It’s a long time coming — the opportunity to get back out there and do something that I love, and coach these kids and hopefully have a very successful season,” Clark said.  “Really to get out there and work with the kids is what I’m looking forward to.”